Mr. Leonard Downie Jr.
Executive Editor
The Washington Post
Washington, DC 20071

Dear Mr. Downie:

Your reporters are in the habit of referring to the death of former Enron vice chairman, J. Clifford Baxter, as a suicide. Susan Schmidt has admitted that her use of that terminology is based solely on a statement issued by the medical examiner who performed the autopsy. The police who are investigating the case promptly issued a statement disassociating themselves from her statement. They say the investigation is continuing. They have yet to release any evidence that proves that Baxter killed himself. They have a gun and a note. They refuse to say if the gun belonged to Baxter or had his fingerprints on it. They refuse to release the note, reveal what it says, or even say where it was found, who found it and if they have any proof that Baxter wrote it. I strongly suggest that you call these facts to the attention of your staff and that they quit using “suicide” until there is evidence to back it up.