Thursday, March 20, 2014

Just a morning shot of paranoia because Thursday’s can be boring

Banker, 28, kills himself in ELEVENTH finance suicide this year

From Edward Jay Epstein’s wildly interesting book The Annals of Unsolved Crime:
Another category of interest is disguised murder. To protect itself against pursuit, a party can disguise a murder as a suicide or accident in such a way that the issue becomes: Was there a crime? My interest here was piqued by James Jesus Angleton, the legendary counterintelligence chief of the CIA. In 1977, he described to me six connected suicides that had occurred in Germany in late 1968. First, on October 8, Major-General Horst Wendland, the deputy head of the BND, the German equivalent of the CIA, was found shot dead with his own service revolver in his own office. That same day, Admiral Hermann Ludke, the deputy head of the logistics department of NATO, was found fatally shot by a dum-dum bullet from his own Mauser rifle in a private hunting preserve in Germany’s Eifel Mountains. Then, within days, four more bodies turned up: Lt. Colonel Johannes Grimm, who worked in the German Defense Ministry, shot; Gerald Bohm, his colleague in the Ministry, drowned in the Rhine river; Edeltraud Grapentin, a liaison with the Information Ministry, poisoned with sleeping pills; and Hans-Heinrich Schenk, a researcher at the Economics Ministry, hanged. All were declared apparent suicides. After he reeled them off, Angleton made his point. These were not unrelated deaths. All six apparent suicides had access to highly classified secrets and were all under investigation as suspected spies or for leaks of NATO documents. The secret investigation of these men had proceeded from the discovery of a strip of film taken on a Minox camera of top-secret NATO documents. The camera had then been traced to Admiral Ludke. This discovery was of immense interest to Angleton, who in 1968 was a liaison with the BND, because Admiral Ludke had “need-to-know” access to the top secrets in NATO, including the location of the depots in which nuclear weapons were stored. Next, a Czech defector supplied a lead that pointed directly to Major-General Wendland and the German Defense Ministry. But before the investigation could go further, both Ludke and Wendland were shot to death on the same day, followed by four other suspects in the case suddenly meeting violent ends. How was such a coincidence possible? Angleton supplied one theory: the KGB had eliminated them to protect its espionage. I said, “But they were ruled suicides.” He corrected me: “Apparent suicides,” and he added, “Any thug can commit a murder, but it takes the talents of an intelligence service to make a murder appear to be a suicide.” He pointed out that coroners look for a murder signature, such as rope burns or bruises, and, if those are not present, they declare the death apparent suicide or natural death. Those signatures can be erased, as Angleton explained, in what is termed in intelligence-speak “surreptitiously-assisted deaths.”

No comments: