Accuracy in Media

Psychologist Alan Berman was one of three consultants hired by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr to help him convince the public that Vincent Foster committed suicide. Berman wrote a 21-page report in which he said, “In my opinion and to a hundred percent degree of medical certainty the death of Vincent Foster was a suicide. No plausible evidence has been presented to support any other conclusion.”

With that firm belief, Dr. Berman found it easy to give Starr a report saying that Foster committed suicide because he was depressed even though it was not evident to any of the people he worked with. In a recorded phone conversation, Berman told me, “There is no credible evidence that you have presented or that anybody else has presented that speaks for any other” cause of death. When I told him there was a lot of evidence that it was a homicide, he said, “Send me what you want. I’ll be happy, when I have the opportunity, to go through it, and I’ll be happy to write a response.”

I sent him a detailed report covering the following evidence of homicide that no one has, as yet, been able to refute. (A) Three eyewitnesses have said Foster’s car was not in the Fort Marcy parking lot until after his death. (B) The old, black, .38-caliber revolver found in his hand was not one of the two handguns he owned and kept in his house in Washington. (C) The medical examiner lied to hide the disappearance of x-rays of Foster’s head. (D) stands for deduction. The x-rays were either destroyed or hidden because they confirmed a Park Police report that the bullet had fractured Foster’s skull from the inside but had not exited.

If that is so, (1) the x-rays showed the bullet or fragments of it inside the cranium; (2) the bullet was not from the gun found in Foster’s hand, because a bullet from the one expended casing in the cylinder, a high velocity .38, would have created an exit wound in the skull so large that it could not have been missed by the police officer, two doctors and a rescue worker who looked at Foster’s head but could see no exit wound; (3) since this would prove that the gun found in Foster’s hand was planted there by his killers, hoping it would convince the police that Foster committed suicide, someone with influence wanted the x-rays destroyed.

After reading my report, Berman’s certainty that all the evidence supported suicide was clearly shaken. His cheery promise to write a written response was forgotten. He didn’t even want to discuss the evidence I sent him. He said, “My main focus was on state-of-mind stuff…. I can’t even take the time to go through and examine what you write about others and then go back to the data that I have. It just asks too much of me at this stage of the game.”

Asked if he had any reason to question the eyewitness evidence about Foster’s car not being in the parking lot until after his death, he asked for the source for the estimate that Foster died at around 3:30 p.m. The medical examiner had estimated the time of death as two to three hours after Foster had eaten lunch, based on the contents of his stomach. Foster had finished lunch and left the White House shortly after 1:00 p.m.

Dr. Berman thought it was around 5:15 p.m., four hours after lunch and 30 minutes before his body was found. But even that was not late enough to get around the car problem. A man and woman who pulled into the lot at about 5:15 reported having seen two men and an older model brown Honda parked near the entrance. The car and the men were still there when the couple went into the woods at about 5:30. Foster’s body was found about 15 minutes later. When the police brought the couple back to the parking lot for questioning, Foster’s light gray Honda was parked where the brown car had been an hour earlier. A brown car was leaving when the first rescue workers arrived at 6:09 p.m.

When asked to comment on this, Berman admitted, “I can’t respond to it.” He said he would respond only to “the dozens of inaccuracies” in a critique of his report published by Accuracy in Media. He claimed it would be “very difficult to give any meaningful response other than what you’re saying here and what you’re quoting here is incorrect” because he could not divulge grand jury information.

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