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by Vault Consulting Editors | February 23, 2011


Part I

Perhaps you've seen it splashed across the headlines of CNN, USA Today, the New York Times—seemingly every news publication on the planet has published their take on the death of John Wheeler in the last few days. And with good reason: Wheeler, a presidential aide to Reagan and Bush Sr. and a prominent government consultant in his own right, was murdered, whacked, snuffed out and left to rot in a Delaware landfill sometime around the New Year.

As the most dedicated readers of Consult THIS will remember in vivid detail, I discussed the mysterious death of military consultant John Wheeler at length when it first happened this January. The circumstances of his death were truly bizarre; Wheeler, a West Point graduate and combat veteran who enjoyed an illustrious career in both government and private consulting, was clearly the victim of a well-executed murder. 

As a police investigation deepened, strange clues emerged. These clues turned to questions: Was Wheeler targeted specifically? Professionally? Was he drugged? Were sensitive documents stolen? What role did Wheeler's military background play in his death, if any? Now, several months on, investigators have discovered little but the intrigue persists.

Wheeler appeared "disoriented" and "disheveled" to witnesses.

Indeed, authorities have made little progress in cracking the case. The sole breakthrough disclosed by police and FBI since January served only to confirm what we already assumed: the coroner's report determined that Wheeler was killed as a result of blunt force trauma (or, as one Delaware reporter put it so eloquently, Wheeler was "beaten to death during an assault.")

The more interesting developments of the last month have surfaced through non-official channels. Last week, Slate published an interview with Katherine Klyce, Wheeler's widow, in which she expressed her frustration at the lack of progress and suggested that her husband's death was the work of a professional hit man. "I think perhaps no one has been on the reward because they've already been paid," Klyce said of the public's failure to respond to a $25,000 reward for information. "The way they disposed of his body, it's a miracle anybody ever found it. That just sounds like a pro to me." Meanwhile, USA Today published a report from Wheeler's neighbor, Robert Dill, who witnessed an eerie scene upon a routine walkthrough of the Wheeler property shortly before John's death. Comparing the disarray in the Wheeler home with that of a "crime scene", Dill noted "broken plates in the sink," "a large plant overturned" and, most ominously, "Wheeler's cadet sword from West Point" lying unsheathed on the floor. Authorities have failed to comment on outside information, only confirming that, in the words of the Newark (Delaware) Police Department, "There are a lot of things we still don't know."

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