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by Vault Consulting Editors | January 06, 2011


Strange details continue to surface in the story of military consultant John Wheeler's recent murder. While much remains a mystery, the story has developed something of a double narrative of late.

The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that, at the time of his death, Wheeler was being investigated by Delaware police for attempted arson at a home directly across from his own. The home in question is currently under construction, a process which Wheeler was reportedly suing to have stopped. Recently, local police found evidence of attempted arson at the property; while Wheeler wasn't named a suspect, separate small fires found amongst the construction suggest that someone deliberately tried to burn the structure down. Was John Wheeler responsible for those fires? Was his murder the result of a neighborly catfight that spun wildly out of control? Wheeler's lawyer doubts that the feud is connected to his client's death, though he refuses to rule anything out.

Meanwhile, new revelations continue to suggest that Wheeler's murder was anything other than a bit of neighbor-on-neighbor violence. Police have secured another surveillance video that puts the ex-MITRE consultant in a Wilmington office building the night before his death. In that video, authorities say, Wheeler exhibits the same signs of confusion—as if drugged—that he exhibited in the parking garage video. Between his New Castle parking garage appearance on December 29 and his appearance at a Wilmington office building the next night, authorities don't know how he travelled the distance between the two cities without a car. It also appears that he somehow managed to change clothes overnight.

Drugged, shoeless, without a coat and no longer wielding his stolen briefcase, Wheeler's bizarre behavior is proving difficult for authorities to explain. All the questions remain—so far, the investigation has only brought more uncertainty.

I personally think it's still all about information; John Wheeler possessed a lot of it, and much of what he knew was classified, mission-critical type stuff. The arson-next-door stuff? Standard misdirection.

If you couldn't tell by now, I'm pretty much hooked on this story (yes, even if it isn't really about consulting. He was a consultant, okay? That's all I care about, alright?). So stay tuned.


• Authorities find Wheeler's cell phone at neighbor's construction site
• Wheeler unsuccessfully sought a temporary restraining order against neighbor last month

For more information:
The Philadelphia Inquirer
ABC News: Video shows Wheeler in Delaware parking garage


Filed Under: Consulting

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