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Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny: Why Does the FBI Want a Homicide Ruled a Suicide?

Is this where I put in key words such as sex, lesbians, vampires, Christopher Lloyd and others things to which this blog do not pertain, but by putting them here, I may get hits from all the Christoper Lloyd lesbian vampire fans (and you know who you are)? This is the primarily humorous and occasionally rambling writings of Leon Tchaikovsky, humor writer. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Why Does the FBI Want a Homicide Ruled a Suicide?

Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny

This is a synopsis of some information from Bill Keisling's book on the death of Jonathan Luna.

According to the book, Warren Grace, whom the FBI paid as an informant, was involved in the sale and distribution of heroin along with Deon Lionel Smith and Walter Oriley Poindexter. Jonathan Luna was a federal prosecutor in the Justice Department’s case against Smith and Poindexter. The charges against Poindexter included a murder charge in the death of Alphonso Jones. Warren Grace gave a statement to Baltimore Police that Poindexter killed Jones in retribution for Jones breaking into Poindexter’s drug stashed home.

The informant, Warren Grace, allegedly continued selling heroin and fired weapons “shooting up the neighborhood” while serving as a paid FBI informant. Such activity, if known by the FBI (and Keisling believes it was) violated Grace’s Order Setting Conditions Of Release which required him to refrain from using and being involved with drugs. FBI Special Agent Steve Skinner stated the FBI paid Grace $2,000 while collecting almost 100 hours of surveillance tape showing Grace, Poindexter, and Smith selling heroin. Keisling believes this was an excessive amount of evidence that was gathering without any FBI action stopping the illegal activities. On May 13, 2003, Skinner and other FBI agents raided Smith and Poindexter. Keisling claims the FBI report makes no mention of heroin raided from Grace’s car.

During trial, Kenneth Ravenell, a defense attorney for Smith and Poindexter learned of Grace’s association with the FBI and objected to the prosecution’s failure to disclose this. Ravenell states that Barbara Skidmore, a Senior Pretrial Services Officer stated there were “many violations” concerning the prosecution’s handling of Grace. The Judge in the case, William Quaries, agrees, stating “it is difficult for me to conceive that the government would actually seize drugs from a cooperator and then, on the same day, send him to work a case.” Judge Quaries ordered an investigation into Luna and the FBI. Luna then agreed to a plea bargain with the defense attorneys. Federal nexus prohibits a plea bargain in a murder case that was committed involving an illegal drug transaction. To finalize the plea bargain, Luna would have been required to contradict his earlier comments in court that the murder was drug-dealing related. On the night Luna was going to type the details of the plea agreement, Luna left his office and died before ever finishing writing and signing the agreement.

The transcript of Luna’s last day in court was never prepared. The court reporter, Ned Richardson, told Keisling the FBI views the transcripts as “sensitive”. Luna last left his office without his glasses, which Richardson determined was unusual claiming Luna “needed them to see” and without his cell phone, which Keisling believes suspicious as the movement of a cell phone is traceable and perhaps Luna did not want his movements traced.

Luna was also involved in an investigation into $36,000 of evidence from a bank robbery case that was missing. Luna and an FBI agent signed that the money was put into an evidence lock-up vault, yet it was later reported as missing from the vault. Keisling believes the FBI knows who took the money, and quotes an unnamed expert as stating “you’ll be surprised how fast they’ll solve the mystery of the missing $36,000 once Congress makes sounds of holding hearings.” This is one reason Keisling wishes Congress to hold hearings on the Luna case.

On Luna’s last evening alive, his debit card withdrew $200 from a machine in Newark, Delaware where the security camera was not functioning. His car drove through Route 130 in New Jersey. His debit card bought gas at the Peter J. Camiel Rest Stop in King of Prussia. Again, the security camera was not working. Instead of using his EZ Pass, his car paid cash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The turnpike ticket has Luna’s blood on it. Luna is found dead in Ephrata, Pa.

Dr. Barry Walp, Lancaster County Coroner, finds Luna was stabbed 36 times with a knife. He was wearing his Justice Department ID badge when he died. There were four inch wounds on both sides of the neck. There were stab wounds on his back. Many of the other wounds were shallow. Dr. Walp states “you would think they were perhaps after information from the guy when you see something like this” or “perhaps for kicks” someone did this. Luna had ligature marks on his wrists, which means his hands were likely tied. There are no defensive wounds. Two types of blood are found in the car. Luna’s groin had light bruising as if kicked during a struggle. Luna falls into a stream and dies from drowning. Coroner Walp rules the death a homicide. Walp’s successor, Coroner Dr. Garry Kircher and Brecknock Township Police Chief Edward Karcher claim the FBI attempted to convince them to change the ruling to suicide.

Keisling notes the FBI is quick to determine this case. Within two days, anonymous officials told the press Luna’s death was unrelated to his work. The New York Post received and printed reports that Luna was involved in a scandal in New York where the District Attorney’s office was allegedly accepting bribes, yet Luna was not involved in any of the cited cases. An unidentified FBI agent told the press of Internet sex postings by a “Jonathan Luna”, yet, as Keisling points out, it is unlikely Luna, a married man, would have used his real name in public sex postings. An unidentified Justice Department official claims Luna died in an area known for prostitution, yet local police officials dispute this.

150 FBI agents and State Police cadets conducted a shoulder to shoulder search of the scene for evidence. The knife was found two months later in the creek near where Luna died. There were no fingerprints on the knife, perhaps washed away by the water.

A report by the U.S. House Committee on Government Reforms states the FBI has maintained murderers on his informant payroll for as much as 30 years. An internal FBI report in 2000 identified 77 FBI agents who committed crimes from 1986 to 1999, including one who murdered his informant. Keisling argues it not is inconsistent that the FBI could be hiding facts in the Luna case.

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