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01/07/11 - NNHS Newsletter - Jack Wheeler

John Parsons Wheeler, III
(14 Dec 1944 - @ 30 Dec 2010)

Hampton High School Class of 1962

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,

   We have an incredibly sad edition of the NNHS Newsletter today, which you probably read, bur perhaps like me, failed to make the connection to out Typhoon Family.

         Jack Wheeler, Hampton High School Class of 1962, passed away on about Thursday, December 30, 2010 at the age of 66, a victim of homicide.


      From Gloria Woolard Price (Hampton HS - '65) of FL - 01/06/11:

Carol,

I don’t know if someone already told you, but the NJ man (in the news this week),   John P. Wheeler, III, graduated from HHS in 62. He was voted Most Likely to Succeed. You probably can’t get an obit from Newark, but maybe you could mention him...

Gloria Price

   Thanks so much, Gloria. I would never have made the local connection, and nothing I've read even hints at it.  This is an amazingly tragic story which is still unfolding. I was not able to locate an obituary for him yet, but there were certainly a great many news articles available.  I've used his Wikipedia item to serve as the biography for this extraordinary man for the time being.


From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_P._Wheeler_III:

 

 

John P. Wheeler, III

 
    John "Jack" Parsons Wheeler III (December 14, 1944 - Laredo, Texas – c. December 30, 2010 - Delaware) was a former chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, former senior planner for Amtrak (1971-1972), held various positions at the Securities and Exchange Commission (1978-1986), former chief executive and CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, consultant to the Mitre Corporation (2009-death), member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a presidential aide to the Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush administrations, as well as other positions in the US military, the US government, and US corporations.[1][2]  
  Jack Wheeler
     
  John Parsons Wheeler III descended from a family of military professionals which included Joseph Wheeler, who had served as a general both in the Confederate Army, and later with the United States army. Wheeler III was born in Laredo, Texas, where his mother was staying with her mother while his father was in Europe. Five days after the delivery, the family received a telegram that his father was missing in action in the Battle of the Bulge. His father was later found to be alive.[3]

He was a member of the United States Military Academy class of 1966 which lost 10 percent of its members in the Vietnam War.[3]

After graduating from West Point, he was a fire control platoon leader at a MIM-14 Nike-Hercules base at Franklin Lakes, New Jersey from 1966 to 1967. From 1967 to 1969 he was a graduate student at Harvard Business School spending the summer of 1968 as a systems analyst for Office of Secretary of Defense in Washington, DC. From 1969 to 1970 he served in a non-combat position at Long Binh in Vietnam. From 1970 to 1971 he served on the General Staff at The Pentagon[1]

Wheeler's West Point and laters years are featured prominently in Rick Atkinson's book, "The Long Gray Line: The American Journey of West Point's Class of 1966."

After leaving the military he was a senior planner for Amtrak in1971 and 1972. From 1972 to 1975 he attended law school at Yale University becoming a clerk for George E. MacKinnon in 1975-76 and an associate for Shea & Gardner in 1976-78. From 1978 to 1986 he was Assistant General Counsel, Special Counsel to Chairman, and Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission.[1

    From 1979 to 1989 he was chairman of Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial which opened in 1982. He had supported the controversial Maya Lin design and ran afoul of Ross Perot and Jim Webb who tried to oust him after they disagreed with the stark design. Wheeler worked to address their issues by adding the Three Soldiers sculpture by Frederick Hart to the memorial.  
  Tuesday, May 17, 1994  
  (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi, File)  
 
I
n 1983, Carlton Sherwood ran a four part series on WDMV-TV (now WUSA) "Vietnam Memorial: A Broken Promise?" which focused on Wheeler's handling of the Memorial Fund saying that most of the $9 million raised for the memorial was not accounted for. In the piece, Sherwood cast aspersions on Wheeler's career questioning his decision not go directly to Vietnam out of West Point and noting he had been disciplined shortly after arriving in Vietnam in 1969 for "misappropriation" of government property. A General Accounting Office audit spurred by the television report cleared Wheeler. WMDV made an on-air apology and donated $50,000 to the memorial.[3]

In 1985 he wrote wrote the memoir Touched With Fire: The Future of the Vietnam Generation (1985), a book about the post-war experiences of Vietnam soldiers and anti-war protesters.

In 1988-89, Wheeler worked with George H.W. Bush to establish the Earth Conservation Corps. In 1997-2001, he was President and CEO, Deafness Research Foundation. He was consultant to acting Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics from 2001 to 2005, Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force from 2005-2008. From 2008 to 2009, he was Special Assistant to the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Logistics and Energy. From 1983 to 1987, he was Chairman and CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and from 1993 until his death, he was the founding CEO of Vietnam Children's Fund.[1]

Wheeler was allegedly seen on December 28, 2010, exiting an Amtrak train,[4] and later, on the afternoon of December 30, 2010, at 10th and Orange streets in Wilmington.[5] On December 31, his body was seen by a landfill worker falling onto a trash heap in the Cherry Island Landfill.[6] Police ruled his death a homicide and claimed that "all the stops made Friday (December 31) by the garbage truck before it arrived at the landfill involved large commercial disposal bins in Newark (Delaware), several miles from Wheeler's home."[4]

Wheeler's neighbor of seven months, Ron Roark, said that he had met Wheeler only once and rarely saw him. Roark claimed that, in the days prior to Wheeler's death, he (Roark) and his family heard, from outside the Wheeler residence, a loud television within the home that was constantly on, though no one appeared to be home. [7]

Late on December 28, several smoke bombs were tossed into the residence across the street from Wheeler's home, scorching the floors. The property is at the heart of a legal dispute between Wheeler and the owners of the property, Frank and Regina Marini. Wheeler had filed complaints and attempted to halt construction because the residence blocked his view of the Delaware River and nearby park. The incident is still under investigation. [8]

According to the Washington Post, Wheeler was sighted, on December 29, at the New Castle County courthouse parking garage, disoriented and wearing only one shoe, as the other was ripped. Wheeler, attempting to gain access to the parking garage on foot, claimed that he wanted to warm up before paying a parking fee. (Police later determined that his car was not actually in the parking garage, but rather at a train station.) Wheeler explained to the parking garage attendant that his briefcase had been stolen and repeatedly denied being intoxicated. It is also claimed that, on December 29, Wheeler asked a pharmacist for a ride to Wilmington and "looked upset." The pharmacist offered to call a cab for Wheeler, at which point Wheeler left the store. [8]

On December 30, Wheeler was sighted wandering various office buildings, where he repeatedly refused offers by several individuals who had offered assistance.[8]


 

  Our sincerest sympathies are extended to Jack's family and friends at this difficult time.


01/04/11 - http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2011/01/04/john-p-wheeler-iii-1944-2010/

01/04/11 - http://www.examiner.com/criminal-profiles-in-national/john-p-wheeler-iii-the-neighbors-twist

01/07/11 - http://blog.usnavyseals.com/2011/01/mystery-still-surrounds-the-final-hours-of-john-p-wheeler-iii.html 


From the Daily Press - 04/09/11, 04/10/11, 04/11/11, and 04/12/11 - "Who Killed    Jack Wheeler (Hampton High School - '62)":

By Hugh Lessig, hlessig@dailypress.com | 247-7821

Part One: Surveillance cameras hold final, haunting images of Jack Wheeler

The final, haunting images of Jack Wheeler come from surveillance cameras in various corners of Wilmington, Del.

He shuffles through a parking garage and a downtown office building. He can't find his car and says someone stole his briefcase. He limps from the picture, holding one shoe, and heads into the cold December night wearing a sport coat.

Hours later, his body falls from a garbage truck into a landfill. Authorities determine that the 66-year-old man had been beaten to death. More than three months later, police still don't know who killed Jack Wheeler or why, or where the murder happened.

Speculation over his death has become a morbid cottage industry. Enter "John Wheeler conspiracy theories" into Google and see what comes up.

Steve Wright owns a sandwich shop in downtown Wilmington near where Wheeler was last seen. Wright doesn't know what happened – other than the publicity was bad for business – but he succinctly sums up all the Internet chatter.

"He worked for the government and he knew too much," Wright said.

Jack Wheeler was a defense consultant, a respected Pentagon insider, a passionate advocate for Vietnam veterans and a valued member of three presidential administrations. At one point, he published an influential paper on biological warfare and was also an authority on cyber warfare, reports say.

Opinionated and driven, he was successful in almost everything he set out to do.

Peninsula residents — make that Peninsula teenagers — saw this potential early on: The Hampton High School Class of 1962 voted their classmate most likely to succeed. A son in a military family, he spent those high school years living at Fort Monroe.

The surveillance tape of the disoriented, disheveled Wheeler is all the more difficult to fathom considering the type of person Wheeler was, friends say.

Should Wheeler be lost in Wilmington? He was only minutes from his historic home in New Castle that overlooks the water, yet he went to the wrong parking garage in an attempt to retrieve his car. His wife, in her only interview (with Slate.com), said she didn't find this unusual. Wheeler had a terrible sense of direction.

But the man known for his laser-like focus appeared confused and rambling, unable to communicate exactly what was bothering him.

The last snippet of tape shows him heading toward a section of town that is considered dicey, city residents say. So besides conspiracy theories, his murder could have been the result of a tragic, but more conventional run-in with a thug.

The publicity has faded since his body was found on Dec. 31, but his friends still wonder.

"People like Jack Wheeler do not get murdered," says one longtime friend, Richard Radez. "To find his body being dumped out of a trash truck in a landfill in Delaware, you say, 'What the hell is this?'"

'A West Point thing'

John Parsons Wheeler III had great potential coming out of Hampton, where he lived at Fort Monroe with his mother, Janet, and his father, an Army colonel known as Big Jack.

He could have gone to Yale University or the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He chose the latter, and his experiences became featured in "The Long, Gray Line," the 1989 classic by Rick Atkinson.

The book, which won a Pulitzer Prize, profiles Wheeler and several other members of the West Point Class of 1966. They stood at the crossroads of history, their families rooted in World War II, their eyes on the war in Vietnam.

Radez was a year behind Wheeler, a member of the Class of '67. He recalls with a chuckle the first time they met.

"I was standing out by the barracks when this yearling came up and upbraided me," Radez says.

Wheeler noted that the buttons on Radez's uniform were not properly aligned with his belt buckle and fly cover. The proper alignment was known as being tangent.

"This is a West Point thing," Radez explained. "It is designed to force people to concentrate on very small details. You can make a little mistake and it can cost people their lives. It is a zero defect kind of society, and it ought to be."

Later, the two became fast friends.

"The problem Jack had, he had a hard time being a tough guy," Radez said. "After a while, you get to know each other and it gets to be a relaxed relationship."

The two would meet later at Harvard Business School – the next stop for a pair of West Point graduates who had the smarts. They graduated in June 1969 and Jack received orders to go to Vietnam. Radez arrived in country a few months later.

Neither man saw combat, but they got to know each other even better, putting their college degrees to use in the business side of managing a war.

"You work 10 hours a day and at night you go over to the officers' club and have a beer and listen to a horrible Filipino band play," Radez said.

They eventually went their separate ways, but Radez got a call years later when Jack began working on a memorial to Vietnam War veterans. Although both men had relatively easy tours in Vietnam, the West Pointers of 1966 had been particularly hard hit.

And Jack had lost friends over there.

"Jack brought the benefit of a very creative mind," said Radez, "and a network of contacts he knew how to leverage, and a determination to get the job done. I can say, straight from the heart and with total conviction, if it had not been for Jack Wheeler, this nation would not have had the Vietnam memorial on the Mall."

Machine gun fingers

Art Schulcz was another classmate of Wheeler's at West Point. He described his friend as a man of strong opinions, but not one to impose his views on someone.

"He had a viewpoint but he listened to people," Schulcz said. "He would try to find common ground, try to get people to agree instead of trying to get to 51 percent."

One way they kept in touch was through email and a message board for the Class of '66. Schulcz perused the board from time to time, and Jack was always known as someone who would fire back quickly on his Blackberry whenever someone sent him a message.

"There was a joke about that ability," Schulcz said. "Some of us referred to him as having machine-gun fingers."

Around 5 o'clock on Tuesday, Dec. 28, Wheeler dashed off a message to the alumni board, responding to a discussion about college sports, complaining about what he saw as the NCAA's corrupt management.

It was opinionated – typical Jack, as Schulcz would later think. There was nothing to suggest he was under stress.

Shortly after that, Jack Wheeler's Blackberry went dead.


Part Two: A confused walk through Wilmington

One of the last people to see Jack Wheeler alive was Sammy Abdelaziz, who manages parking garages in the city of Wilmington.

On Wednesday evening, Dec. 29, he received a call from a concerned employee at the New Castle County Courthouse parking garage. There appeared to a be a homeless man there, asking for help.

"She said he had one shoe on and the other one in his hand, and he had a wrinkled suit, stuff like that," he said.

Abdelaziz went looking and found Wheeler by the garage exit. He asked Wheeler if he needed help. Wheeler said he was looking for his car. By that time, he was wearing both shoes, but his suit was dusty and wrinkled, as if he had been sitting somewhere, or fallen down, or had worn it for a couple of days, Abdelaziz said.

Wheeler didn't have his parking ticket, which meant that Abdelaziz couldn't pinpoint the location of his car. Then the conversation took a different turn.

"Actually, I lost everything," Wheeler said. "I got robbed. They took my briefcase."

"He was just shaking his head," Abdelaziz said. "I was willing to give him a ride. You can drive around to the garages and see where his car was. But he was kind of shaking his head and looked disoriented. He was just lost."

Wheeler, who graduated from Hampton High School and went on to a successful career that included service to three U.S. presidents, was in the middle of a fateful odyssey that was partly captured on surveillance cameras in downtown Wilmington and partly documented by interviews with people in New Castle, where he lived.

All of it has been previously documented in media reports, most notably the News Journal of Wilmington, which has covered the case extensively.

The mystery begins on Tuesday, Dec. 28. Wheeler reportedly spent the day in Washington, D.C. — he worked for a company in McLean, Va. — then is believed to have taken a train to Wilmington, Del.

At 5:10 that afternoon, he posted a message on a forum for the West Point Class of 1966, part of a discussion about the management of college sports. Art Schulcz, a college classmate, took note of the post but saw nothing amiss in its contents.

That night, there was a disturbance across the street from Wheeler's home in New Castle. Someone tossed a smoke bomb into a house that is under construction.

At the time, Wheeler was involved in a bitter legal dispute with the owners of the unfinished house, which he said did not conform to the rich history of his neighborhood. The person who threw the smoke bomb has not been identified.

There is no indication where Wheeler spent the night, but he resurfaced at 9 a.m. the next day. He was in Wilmington – again, or maybe he never left – and took a cab from the Amtrak station to the corner of 11th and Orange streets, at the Hotel Dupont.

The cab driver, Roland Spence, told the News Journal that Wheeler talked during the ride and seemed observant. Nothing appeared amiss. Records indicate Wheeler didn't check in at the hotel, police said.

Around 6 p.m., Wheeler showed up at Happy Harry's Pharmacy near New Castle and asked the pharmacist for a ride back to Wilmington. The pharmacist, who considered the request strange, offered to call a cab. Wheeler declined the offer and left.

At the garage

Forty minutes after leaving the pharmacy, Wheeler turned up at the New Castle County Courthouse parking garage, carrying his shoe in one hand, looking disheveled and disoriented. That's when he told Abdelaziz that he'd been robbed, that someone had taken his briefcase. Police can't confirm the theft.

Again, it is not known where he spent the night, but the next day brings more twists.

In the morning, a neighbor noticed an open window in Wheeler's house in New Castle. He walked in and found smashed dishes and other wreckage. His first thought: a thief. But nothing seemed to be missing.

Later in the day, Wheeler was spotted back in the area of 10th and Orange streets in Wilmington. Surveillance video captured Wheeler walking inside the Nemours Building, a large office building in downtown Wilmington.

People approached him because he seemed confused or disoriented. He declined their help. He was wearing different clothes from the day before, having exchanged his sport coat for a blue hooded sweatshirt. He was last see at 8:42 p.m. Thursday. An exterior surveillance camera showed him walking past the Hotel Dupont and toward Wilmington's Rodney Square, a small park named for Caesar Rodney, who was Jack Wheeler's kind of guy.

On July 1-2, 1776, Caesar Rodney rode to Philadelphia through thunder and rain, despite ill health, to cast the deciding vote in the Delaware delegation for independence. He arrived with a dramatic flair, just as the vote was beginning.

Just beyond Rodney Square, the city of Wilmington takes a visible turn for the worse, with run-down homes and litter in the streets. A woman who runs a liquor store in the neighborhood, who won't give her name, says she often advises newcomers to walk the other way.

Charles Johnson is a lifelong city resident who says he knows the local streets. He stopped to chat with a reporter while pushing a shopping cart full of recyclables near the neighborhood store.

"I get scared walking down there – day or night, really," he said.

Friday morning dawned, the last day of 2010, and at 4:20 a.m. a garbage truck began making its rounds in Newark, about 15 miles from Wilmington. It stopped to empty a number of Dumpsters.

Police believe one of those Dumpsters contained Wheeler's body, because at 9:56 a.m., the garbage dumped its load at the Cherry Island Landfill in Wilmington. Wheeler's body was spotted in the trash.

Newark police are investigating the case because investigators determined the body came from there. To date, they do not have a suspect or a murder scene.

They don't know how Wheeler made it from Rodney Square to Newark, much less how he ended up in a Dumpster, only to get hauled back to Wilmington.

'I should have pushed'

After Wheeler's body was discovered, the media published his photo. Abdelaziz got a call from the employee who had phoned him Wednesday night. The man wandering around the garage had been murdered.

"It hit me real hard," Abdelaziz said. "It all came back in my mind. I was talking to him less than 48 hours ago. Maybe if I did help him – or if he was cooperative – he would have ended up somewhere better than he did."

In an interview, he went back and forth over the encounter.

"That little bit of conservation – it made me feel bad," he said. "I should have pushed more, but I did what I could."

That was the story from Wilmington. In New Castle, there is another view.


Part 3: Plenty of theories in Wheeler's death

Jack Wheeler had a flair for the dramatic.

Growing up in Hampton, he wrestled with the question of his future after high school. The grand moment of truth is recounted in Rick Atkinson's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "The Long, Gray Line."

Jack's father, an Army colonel, was pushing him toward the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. His mother, Janet, favored Yale University, where Jack had been accepted.

When he made up his mind, Jack came down to the dinner table one evening and announced: "I've decided where I want to go." After a theatrical pause, he said: "West Point." That dramatic streak continued throughout his life.

His last home was in New Castle, Del., a historic section that overlooks the Delaware River. Richard and Phoebe Dill live two houses and away, and they became fast friends with Wheeler and his wife, Katherine Klyce.

Mrs. Dill recalled one moment that was typical Jack. The two couples were having dinner before Christmas when Mr. Dill mentioned that his grandchildren would love to see one of those giant military transport planes – the kind that can hold a tank.

"Jack just quietly made that happen," Mrs. Dill said. "We didn't know about it until Christmas Day when the grandchildren were here. In he walks, just opens the door — and we were friends, so that was OK — and he said, 'All right, everyone will have to get dressed.'"

She laughs at the memory.

"It's Christmas Day! It's so unbelievable! But it was really wonderful. Everybody got their coats on and we got in the car and went to where the airplane was."

New Castle view

Much of the publicity about Jack Wheeler's murder has focused on his actions in Wilmington, where he was last seen alive, and on the nearby city of Newark, where his body was dumped in a trash container.

Back in New Castle, the Dills had their own unsettling experience that told them something was wrong.

On Dec. 30, Wheeler was in downtown Wilmington, appearing confused and dazed on surveillance video from an office building and an outside location.

That day, the Dills were watching Wheeler's home, because Wheeler and his wife were away. The couple often traveled because Wheeler's wife, Katherine Klyce, runs a silk business in New York and they had a condominium there.

Mr. Dill noticed an open window. Since Dill was watching the house and had been inside, he thought he had forgotten to close it. He went inside the house again and found broken plates in the kitchen sink and powdered cleanser spread on the floor, according to an account in the News-Journal of Wilmington.

Phoebe Dill came over to join her husband and view the damage – nothing seemed to be missing.

"We still weren't sure," she said. "We still thought somebody may have come in for reasons we didn't understand."

They called the police, but their discovery only appears to deepen the mystery. Did someone come into the house? Did Wheeler himself go there at some point during the final, confusing hours of his life?

Another part of the story concerns a house under construction across the street from where Wheeler lived.

Wheeler was caught up in a vigorous legal dispute with the builders of that home, which some neighbors have characterized as a bed-and-breakfast in the making.

Ms. Klyce has continued to pursue the case after her husband's death, still hoping that the house can be torn down. They say the house does not fit with the rich historical character of their neighborhood. This section of New Castle, known as Battery Park, was where cannons fired on British ships in the War of 1812. The same ground was later part of the Underground Railroad.

"They came here because of the history," Phoebe Dill said. "They wanted to live in a nice, little town with a lot of history."

Two days before the Dills noticed damage at Wheeler's house, another neighbor saw someone throwing two smoke bombs at the house across the street.

The neighbor, Scott Morris, told the News-Journal in February that the person who lobbed the bombs was an adult whose build resembled Wheeler's, but he couldn't make a solid identification.

Police in Newark, who are investigating Wheeler's death, said the smoke bomb incident is on their radar, but they have not linked it to the case.

"We are aware of the dispute they were having with the neighbor, and that is one facet of our investigation," said Lt. Mark Farrall, Newark police spokesman.

The home under construction is being built by Frank and Regina Marini, according to published reports. They have not commented other than to express their condolences for Wheeler's death.

Do dots connect?

Videos. Smoke bombs. A body in a landfill. The Wheeler case remains a puzzle.

Brad Garrett is a 21-year veteran of the FBI who now operates his own private investigation agency. With the FBI, he was a profiler and a hostage negotiator. He hasn't investigated Wheeler's murder, but he has followed media reports.

"It's a fascinating mystery," he said.

There is a tendency to want to connect all the dots of the case and see how they are related, he said. But everything may not fit neatly together.

"The biggest problem you have with these cases is when each piece is not connected," he said. "For example, what if his disorientation is not connected to his ultimate death?

"Maybe it's A, B and C, but maybe it's only C," he continued, "and the rest are behaviors and occurrences that aren't related to C. The key is to be open-minded and see if there is a logical link, an evidence link, from the time he gets on the train in Washington to the time he's found in the landfill."

Making speculation more difficult is the lack of details. Police have not established a murder scene. They have not said whether Wheeler had been robbed before he was killed. They have not confirmed that Wheeler's briefcase was stolen, as Wheeler had insisted to employees at a parking garage.

Wheeler's friends are frustrated at the lack of information. Arthur Schulcz, a former West Point classmate of the murdered Hampton man, explains why.

"At West Point, you're trained as a soldier who must solve problems," he said. "You look at a fact situation, you define the problem, and then what are the steps, what are the factors? You put it all together. When you come from that kind of background, you look at this and you say, What's going on?"

Richard Radez, another good friend from West Point, has taken note of the various conspiracy theories out there.

"It still sounds far-fetched," he said. "But don't discount the sinister."

Garrett holds a similar view.

"If you laid all of your cards on the table, it doesn't tend to fit some kind of organized killing," he said. "But you just can't rule it out completely."

One of the last people to see Wheeler alive was Sammy Abdelaziz, a parking garage manager in Wilmington who tried to help. Wheeler was confused when the two met, and Abdelaziz is haunted by the final image of the disoriented man wandering into the cold night.

"While he was walking away, he was dragging his feet," Abdelaziz said. "You can tell this guy is tired. And you're thinking, there's a lot of things on this guy's mind."

Want to know more?

Visit http://www.delawareonline.com, the website for the News-Journal of Wilmington, Del., whose reporters have covered the story extensively. Under the "news" tab, go the "crime and courts" page and look for the special coverage on Wheeler.

The book "The Long, Gray Line" profiles Wheeler and other members of the West Point Class of 1966, tracing their lives from when they entered the military academy, through military service and beyond. The book earned author Rick Atkinson a Pulitzer Prize.


Conspiracy talk aplenty in Wheeler murder

The murder of Jack Wheeler is lacking some basic facts – suspect, motive and location, to name three – so speculation has rushed in to fill the vacuum.

Given Wheeler's career as a Washington insider, some of that speculation reads like a potboiler – and while interesting, is unproven.

One theory in the blogosphere notes that Wheeler, who was 66, was an authority on chemical and biological warfare, and his death occurred just after strange mass deaths of birds. Connection?

For this theory to work, three dots need to line up: 1) the mass bird deaths had to be caused by the release of military chemical weapons, apparently by accident; 2) an upset Wheeler threatened to expose this; and 3) he was killed for it.

The part about Wheeler's expertise has basis in fact. It is partly chronicled in the book "The Long, Gray Line." Wheeler had a distinguished record as a cadet after graduating from Hampton High School in 1962.

After Wheeler returned from Vietnam, he worked in the Pentagon on the staff of an assistant secretary of defense. Part of his job involved reviewing the utility of biological weapons such as anthrax bombs, writes author Rick Atkinson.

Wheeler concluded that "there were no circumstances in which the president would conclude that biologicals provided a useful supplement to the American arsenal," the book says.

That analysis was a factor when President Richard Nixon renounced the use and production of biological weapons in 1969, Wheeler said he was told.

Other thoughts come from Wheeler's wife, Katherine Klyce, in an interview she gave to Slate.com. The family has offered a $25,000 reward, but she said, "I think perhaps no one has been on the reward because they've already been paid."

"The way they disposed of his body, it's a miracle anybody ever found it. That just sounds like a pro to me," she said.

Thomas McInerney, a retired Air Force officer, told ABC News: "A man with that experience, it could have been foul play to get some of the secrets he had."

Wheeler served three U.S. presidents in various capacities and was a defense consultant at the time of his death. He was a driving force behind the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, and Atkinson notes in his book that Wheeler had an impressive rolodex of contacts.

Friends closer to the murdered man aren't necessarily buying into any theory, but they aren't ruling anything out, either.

Art Schulcz was a classmate of Wheeler's at West Point.

His death "wasn't just a shock," he said. "We are at that age where we die."

But Schulcz noted how Wheeler's intellect touched on so many subjects, including cyber warfare.

"There are all these theories floating around," he said, "but what you have is a person who is inexplicably murdered."

Copyright © 2011, Newport News, Va., Daily Press


  Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER! We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol

==============================================

NNHS CLASS OF '65 WEB SITE: http://www.nnhs65.com

PERSONAL WEB SITE: http://www.angelfire.com/weird2/cluckmeat

==============================================

Carol Buckley Harty
915-780-3048 


Amazing Grace

Words by John Newton, 1779
(24 July 1725 – 21 Dec 1807)
 

 Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav'd a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev'd;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ'd!

Thro' many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promis'd good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call'd me here below,
Will be forever mine.


Bagpipes Version of "Amazing Grace" midi courtesy of http://breadsite.org/classic.htm - 05/25/08
at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 05/21/08
Thanks, Dave!

"Amazing Grace" lyrics courtesy of http://www.friendsacrossamerica.com/amazinggrace.html - 03/15/05

Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy of http://gregolsengallery.com – 01/27/05

Hampton High School's Crab clip art courtesy of http://www.geocities.com/agent99bm/ - 10/02/05
Replaced courtesy of
http://www.hamptonhigh1964.com - 02/17/09

Animated Army Flag clip art courtesy of http://www.angelfire.com/ny4/KevsGifsGalore/Patriotic.html - 06/18/03

Blackwork Flowers Divider Line clip art courtesy of http://www.bravenet.com - 08/12/04

Back to NNHS Newsletters - 2011

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