by Alicia Powe
Several online accounts belonging to murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich have been deleted in recent weeks, according to team of private, nonpartisan investigators working on the case.
Attorney and lobbyist Jack Burkman, who is funding the independent investigation, filed an emergency motion Wednesday to require police to “preserve, protect and properly organize the all-important online information of Seth Rich.”
“Seth Rich’s Twitter account has recently been deleted … Seth Rich’s Facebook page has recently been deleted … and … Seth Rich’s Reddit account (MeGRIMLOCK) has recently been edited and some of its postings deleted,” the motion states. “Little is more critical to the investigation of this murder than this online information that could lead to the determination of a motive for the murder. Most of the current working theories of the case may be disproven or enhanced by examining Seth Rich’s online information. Regrettably, some of this information is now lost due to the apparent spoliation of MPD. MPD must now be forced by this Court to act swiftly and decisively to preserve evidence.”
The Profiling Project is asking for an immediate hearing on the emergency motion, calling the matter “urgent.”
As WND reported, the group released an 80-page report Tuesday containing its preliminary findings, primarily concluding that Rich’s killing was not random, as police have long claimed, but “more likely (was) committed by a hired killer or serial killer.”
The project, an “all-volunteer group of current and former George Washington University forensic psychology graduate students and instructors,” said it came together for the investigation to “aid the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police utilizing forensic psychology skills and tools in hopes of providing at least one actionable item.”
The findings included:
- Seth’s death does not appear to be a random homicide.
- Seth’s death does not appear to be a robbery gone bad.
- Seth[‘s] death was more likely committed by a hired killer or serial murderer.
- There may be additional video surveillance of the crime and crime scene.
- The resolution of prosecuting the individual(s) responsible appears to be hindered both actively and passively.
- Seth’s killer(s) most likely remains free with the community.
As WND has reported, Rich, 27, was a DNC voter expansion data director for two years and had accepted a position with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. He was murdered in Washington, D.C., on July 10, 2016, near his apartment in an affluent neighborhood. Rich was shot twice in the back with a handgun, and his wallet, credit cards, watch and phone were left in his possession. The Metropolitan Police Department has described it as a “botched robbery.”
Private investigators have claimed there is evidence Rich was the source WikiLeaks used to obtain thousands of Democratic National Committee emails released on the eve of the party’s presidential nominating convention last July. The emails, indicating the party was manipulating the primary race in favor of Hillary Clinton, led to the resignation of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. On July 22, just 12 days after Rich’s death and days before the Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia, WikiLeaks released 20,000 emails from DNC officials.
Establishment media have ignored recent revelations concerning Rich’s case. The little coverage of the investigation has been devoted to dismissing speculation surrounding Rich’s murder as “conspiracy.”
“A proficient killer is what we think – the fact that the killer has gotten away with it for this period of time and it appears it was a very sanitized crime scene – there is certainly some level of proficiency in the killing,” Kevin Doherty, lead investigator of the Profiling Project, explained during a press conference Tuesday.
Burkman, who is a Washington, D.C., based political consultant, radio talk-show host and founder and president of the lobbying firm JM Burkman & Associates, is offering a $105,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Rich’s killer.
WikiLeaks issued a $20,000 reward for information leading to conviction for the murder of Rich last August.
WND has launched a GoFundMe campaign to put more resources into investigative reporting, to hire an independent private investigator and to provide rewards for new evidence that leads to the arrest and conviction of Rich’s murderer.
The total reward for solving Rich’s murder currently stands at approximately a half-million dollars. In addition to WikiLeaks’ reward, One America News Network is offering $100,000. The D.C. Metropolitan Police Department is offering $25,000. Businessman and investor Martin Shkreli is offering $100,000.
The DNC, however, has offered no money for information leading to the arrest of the murderer of its own young staffer.
Instead, the DNC honored its murdered employee by dedicating a bike rack outside its headquarters to Rich’s memory.
Asked if there are any specific clues that led to the Profiling Project’s conclusion, Doherty said “it is the lack of clues” that concerned investigators most.
“The crime scene was sanitized. There is no direct linking to really anything. The police have no suspects,” he said. “The individuals have gotten away with it at this point in time. There were no behavioral indications at the crime scene. It didn’t look like rage or revenge or hate were the motivation behind it. It’s really a lack of behavioral indicators, motion and evidence that leads us to believe that whoever did this is proficient at killing.”
According to the group’s report, the “offender brought a most likely unregistered firearm to the crime-scene, utilized the firearm and most likely carried the firearm away from the crime-scene with them post-commission. This is a bold behavior in D.C., which has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.”
The fact that so few white people have been murdered in the predominantly black neighborhood where Rich was shot is also peculiar, Doherty said.
“In robberies, [victims] were robbed,” Doherty said, disputing the Washington, D.C., mayor’s insistence that Rich was killed during a botched robbery. “We looked at the 2016 unsolved homicides that D.C. posts – there were 67 of them. Of that 67, 64 were all of African descent. So, right off the back, that is one of the outliers. The fact that this doesn’t seem to be a crime-precipitated homicide – the bulk of D.C.’s homicides are precipitated, or at least crime proximity.”
The Profiling Project filed a separate lawsuit last month against Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Metropolitan Police Department to force the release of the ballistics report, autopsy report and toxicology report.
As WND reported, emergency responders, the Metropolitan Police Department and two local hospitals are refusing to reveal what hospital admitted and treated Rich before an unnamed physician pronounced him dead on July 10, 2016. Furthermore, the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has reportedly refused to release Rich’s autopsy report.
After filing suit against Bowser and the Metropolitan Police Department, Burkman revealed that a burglar broke into a nearby FBI vehicle and stole weapons – including a .40 caliber Glock-22 handgun and a Rock River Arms Rifle – just hours before Rich was shot multiple times two miles north of the weapons theft.
Burkman said a ballistic report would verify if the weapons burglarized from the FBI van were used to shoot Rich.
WND asked MPD if the handgun used to shoot Rich was a .40 caliber Glock-22 or some other type of weapon.
“We cannot discuss what evidence we have in this case, as it is an ongoing open homicide investigation,” MPD Officer Sean Hickman replied.
The conduct of law enforcement has been “troubling ” since day one, Burkman contends, particularly the MPD’s refusal to release information that’s usually made public.
“The way police are handling this investigation is far from normal,” he said in a Thursday press release from the Profiling Project. “The police have been withholding evidence they’re required to release and routinely release publicly in an effort to find killers. Yet they aren’t in the Seth Rich case. Why?
“And now online evidence is being deleted.”
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