John P. Wheeler III: Former Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Member of Council on Foreign Relations, Consultant to Mitre Corporation Found Dumped in Landfill

January 3rd, 2011

Update: Wheeler’s Widow Thinks it Was Assassination; “Sounds Like a Pro to Me”

Via: Salon:

The silence strengthens a hunch Klyce has had since the beginning: That Wheeler’s death wasn’t random. “I think perhaps no one has been on the reward because they’ve already been paid,” she said. Then there’s the way Wheeler’s body was apparently moved from Wilmington to the dumpster in Newark. “The way they disposed of his body, it’s a miracle anybody ever found it. That just sounds like a pro to me.” Klyce isn’t the only one to raise the possibility. Citing Wheeler’s involvement in the military and government, Thomas McInerney, a retired Air Force officer, told ABC News: “A man with that experience, it could have been foul play to get some of the secrets he had.”

Many news reports have described Wheeler as appearing “disoriented” and “disheveled” on the surveillance video. “I kind of thought he had dementia or something,” said a parking lot attendant who spoke to Wheeler. Klyce saw the videos, and said Wheeler appeared normal—for Wheeler, at least. Wheeler’s doctor, who has known him 40 years, agreed, according to Klyce. Wheeler had a terrible sense of direction. “He was disoriented every day in his life,” she said. “He couldn’t walk from here to CVS without specifically drawn maps.” “He was probably most definitely lost,” she added.

But she disputes the notion that he was crazy or demented. Wheeler, who was bipolar and took lithium for his condition, didn’t always respond to social cues. “He was a touch Asperger-y,” she said. “He couldn’t read faces. He couldn’t gauge other peoples’ reactions.” What about the shoe in his hand? “He didn’t care about clothes,” she said. “Jack was oblivious. Nothing sartorially peculiar about Jack is out of the ordinary.”

—End Update—

Update: Medical examiner: Homicide Victim John Wheeler Died of ‘Blunt Force Trauma’

This is a strange statement:

Hal G. Brown, deputy director of the medical examiner’s office, said he did not know what medications or chemicals, if any, were in Wheeler’s system, but said the death certificate makes it clear that toxicology “didn’t play a role’’ in Wheeler’s death.

They don’t know what “medications or chemicals, if any,” were in Wheeler’s system, but toxicology didn’t play a role? How can they make the statement that toxicology didn’t play a role if they don’t know what, “medications or chemicals, if any,” were present?

Maybe the blunt force trauma was meant to provide the obvious cause of death, to distract attention away from something else.

Via: The News Journal:

Homicide victim John P. Wheeler III, a former Pentagon official and presidential aide whose body was discovered Dec. 31 in a Wilmington landfill, was beaten to death in an assault, the Delaware medical examiner’s office announced today.

The official cause of Wheeler’s slaying was “blunt force trauma,’’ agency spokesman Karl Kanefsky said about a case that has drawn worldwide media coverage.

Police reiterated today that the case remains under investigation but acknowledge they cannot fill in critical gaps in the murder mystery.

Within hours of the grisly New Year’s Eve discovery, state pathologists had ruled that the 66-year-old New Castle resident was a homicide victim, but until today authorities had been mum on the cause of his death — an unusual posture in Delaware, where such information is usually released promptly.

The four-week delay has helped fuel rampant speculation that Wheeler, a defense consultant and expert on chemical and biological weapons, was poisoned by enemies — a theory that persisted in part because he was seen stumbling around Wilmington in the days before he died and officials said they were awaiting the results of toxicology tests.

Hal G. Brown, deputy director of the medical examiner’s office, said he did not know what medications or chemicals, if any, were in Wheeler’s system, but said the death certificate makes it clear that toxicology “didn’t play a role’’ in Wheeler’s death.

Brown said blunt force trauma describes the result of being struck with an object or a body part such as a fist. Brown added that Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Adrienne Sekula-Perlman, who handled Wheeler’s autopsy, met with police and prosecutors today about her conclusions.

Newark police are the lead agency on a multi-force investigation because the garbage truck that dumped Wheeler’s body at Wilmington’s Cherry Island Landfill was emptying debris it had collected at trash bins in Newark. The FBI is also assisting the probe.

Newark police spokesman Lt. Mark Farrall was mum Friday on the official word that Wheeler was killed in an assault. “I can’t comment on his injuries,’’ Farrall said.

—End Update—

Update: Delaware Police Mum About Cause of Former Pentagon Official John Wheeler’s Death

Via: Delaware News Journal:

How was former Pentagon official John P. Wheeler III killed?

If police know, they aren’t saying.

Two full weeks after Wheeler’s body was spotted tumbling out of a trash hauler into a Wilmington landfill on New Year’s Eve, police and the state Medical Examiner’s Office remain uncharacteristically silent.

Though officials immediately labeled his death a “homicide,” they have refused to provide the cause, nor will they say whether they’re sure how Wheeler died.

Law enforcement’s posture runs contrary to normal Delaware police procedure in homicide cases. Police agencies routinely say how a homicide victim died, even in cases where the crime occurred in a private home rather than a public place like a street shooting, and where no suspect has been arrested or identified.

But with Wheeler, in a case that has drawn national media coverage, silence has reigned.

“At this point in the investigation, we don’t want to release that information,” Newark police spokesman Lt. Mark Farrall said. He would not elaborate.

—End Update—

Update: Some Surveillance Video of Wheeler

Via: Wall Street Journal:

The Newark Police Department has released video of former Bush aide John “Jack” Wheeler inside a Wilmington office building the day before he died. Video courtesy of Fox 29 Philadelphia.

—End Update—

Update: Bizarre Final Days and Hours of John P. Wheeler III

Via: The Philadelphia Enquirer:

As more becomes publicly known of the final days and hours of John P. Wheeler 3d, an image is emerging of a man coming unglued.

Less than 48 hours before the respected former Pentagon aide turned up dead last week in a Delaware landfill, Wheeler limped into a Wilmington parking garage. Coatless and confused, one of his shoes in hand, he bizarrely inquired about the location of his car, then declined offers of help, witnesses said.

A day later, police said Wednesday, surveillance video captured Wheeler in downtown Wilmington again – this time looking “confused” inside the Nemours Building at 10th and Orange Streets about 8:30 p.m. Dec. 30.

That was less than 14 hours before Wheeler’s body tumbled into a Wilmington landfill from a garbage truck. Police have called his death a homicide, but have refused to disclose how they believe Wheeler, 66, died.

“I knew something wasn’t right,” said Iman Goldsborough, a parking-lot attendant who encountered Wheeler on Dec. 29, “but I never thought it would end up like this.”

Also this week, police found evidence that Wheeler may have been involved in an arson attempt at the home of a couple he had been battling in court, a law enforcement source has told The Inquirer.

It all runs counter to the burnished public image of Wheeler, who served in Vietnam, successfully pushed for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, advised presidents and Pentagon brass, and served as the first chief executive of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and as secretary of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Phoebe Dill, a friend and neighbor of Wheeler and his wife, Katherine Klyce, in New Castle, Del., said she last saw Wheeler on Christmas Eve when her husband, Robert, drove him to the train station.

“He was going to New York with his wife’s Christmas present,” she said. Wheeler and Klyce have a condominium in Manhattan.

Dill said she assumed Wheeler then took a train directly to Washington, near his consulting job at Mitre Corp., a defense contractor in McLean, Va.

The news that Wheeler appeared disoriented in Wilmington several days later greatly distressed her and her husband, she said.

“It’s a terrible thing to happen to anyone,” she said, surmising a medical problem had occurred.

After working at Mitre on Dec. 28, Wheeler is believed to have taken a train from Washington to Wilmington. That night, police said, smoke-bomb devices were set off in an unfinished New Castle home across from Wheeler’s that belongs to a couple with whom he was long embroiled in a court battle over the dimensions of the house.

On Dec. 13, a Chancery Court judge denied Wheeler’s application for a temporary restraining order. Wheeler’s lawyer, Bayard Marin, has said he last spoke to Wheeler on Dec. 27 – the day before the arson attempt.

Marin doubted the dispute had anything to do with Wheeler’s death. He declined on Wednesday to comment further.

On Dec. 29, Wheeler turned up at a pharmacy in New Castle at 6 p.m. and asked the pharmacist for a ride to Wilmington, the Wilmington News Journal reported. The pharmacist, who declined comment Wednesday, told the newspaper that Wheeler looked “different” and “a little upset.” He said he offered to call a cab, but Wheeler refused and left.

About 30 minutes later, Wheeler entered the parking garage attached to the New Castle County Courthouse in Wilmington, about seven miles from the pharmacy. How he got there has not been explained.

A surveillance video shows Wheeler limping inside, wearing a dark suit but no overcoat, his white shirt open at the collar, clutching one tasseled loafer.

“He said he wanted to warm up before getting his car,” Goldsborough said. She suggested he close an outside door and stay in the vestibule area.

His car, it turned out, was not in that garage. After his death, it was towed from a garage near the train station several blocks away, where he was a monthly customer.

Goldsborough said Wheeler told her he had been driven from the train station by his brother, had been robbed, and was recovering from the recent death of his mother. He declined Goldsborough’s offer to contact police, she said.

Dill, Wheeler’s neighbor, said that the limp was not new, but that Wheeler’s brother and mother “both died some years ago.”

While looking for his car, Wheeler encountered two departing courthouse employees who declined Wednesday to be quoted by name, saying they feared losing their jobs. They said that they encountered Wheeler about 7:30 p.m., that he was having trouble locating his vehicle, and that he wondered aloud whether he was in the right garage.

Wheeler said he didn’t have his garage ticket because his wallet and briefcase had been stolen. When asked if he needed money, he told the workers that he had $120. He also declined their offer to call police, they said.

All three people who encountered Wheeler described him as clean and neat. His responses to their questions, they said, seemed labored but lucid.

All said they wished they had called police anyway.

“We feel that we should have done something more,” one woman said.

Where Wheeler spent the night is not known, although he reportedly said he was staying at a nearby hotel. Officials at the nearby Hotel du Pont declined comment.

Police initially had said that Wheeler was last seen around midafternoon the following day, Dec. 30, near 10th and Orange Streets. On Wednesday, they disclosed that surveillance video showed him inside the Nemours Building there as late as 8:30 p.m.

Sometime between then and the next morning, Wheeler turned up dead in a Dumpster in Newark, about 15 miles away. Police believe he had been in one of 10 bins collected beginning at 4:20 a.m.

His body was spotted as the collection truck dumped its load about 10 a.m. at the Cherry Island Landfill in Wilmington.

—End Update—

Update: Mitre Won’t Say What Wheeler Was Doing There

Mmm hmm.

Via: Washington Post:

Wheeler had been working since March 2009 as a consultant at the nonprofit Mitre Corp. in McLean, company spokeswoman Jennifer J. Shearman said. She said the company does information technology work for several federal agencies, including the Defense and Homeland Security departments, but she did not know what type of work Wheeler did.

—End Update—

What was he doing at Mitre?

A four page bio on John P Wheeler III is currently available at Second Line of Defense:

October 2009
BIOGRAPHY OF JOHN WHEELER

John Wheeler is a defense consultant. He served as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. from 2005-2008, when he became the Special Assistant to the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Logistics and Environment. His mission was to carry out tasks and monitor programs in support of goals as directed, and support the Air Force Secretariat with data gathering, team organization, liaison, analysis and/or options for action. Principal tasks included standing up Cyberspace Forces and placing Precision Strike technology and Real Time Streaming Video targeting links into the hands of groundfighters in combat.

Mr. Wheeler graduated from West Point in 1966, serving as a staff officer in Vietnam, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Staff before leaving active service in 1971. While on active duty, he authored the first Biological and Chemical Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual and the analysis supporting the President’s decision that the U.S. will not use biologicals. He was also on the Red Integrated Strategic Operational Plan Team to test the Single Integrated Operational Plan. His career combines federal service and starting up, growing and turning around companies and charities. He was Secretary, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, on the team that worked major insider trader investigations, and consultant to the acting Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics regarding tankers and other issues.

For President Reagan, he created the Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program, linking successful veterans with veterans needing jobs. For President G.H.W. Bush, he created the Earth Conservation Corps for at-risk youth.

He was Chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which built the Wall, and first Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which led the 40 percent reduction in drunk driving casualties as of 2005.

He has also served as Special Counsel to the Chairman and CEO for the turnaround of Macy’s, and he helped launch charities including the Jed Foundation to prevent college suicides, Support Our Aging Religious, and the Deafness Research Foundation’s National Campaign for Hearing Health to end deafness with cochlear implants for children.

PERTINENT WEB CLICKS
For computer-based readers, these clicks illustrate the main work undertaken by Mr. Wheeler since 2005 :
1. Precision Strike and Video Links for Groundfighters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiB3vrhPDNs
2. Establishing Cyber Warfighting Capability: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t849CYRd2Ak
3. Joint Warfighting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lxJSZQ93gI&feature=related

EDUCATION
1966 Distinguished graduate, Bachelor of Science degree, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
1969 Master of Business Administration degree, with distinction, Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Mass.
1975 Juris Doctor, Yale Law School, New Haven, Conn.

CAREER CHRONOLOGY
1. 1966 – 1967, fire control platoon leader, nuclear Nike Hercules site, Franklin Lakes, N.J.
2. 1967 – 1969, graduate student, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. (summer 1968, systems analyst (Strategic Programs), Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.)
3. 1969 – 1970, member of the General Staff, Headquarters U.S. Army Vietnam, Long Binh, Vietnam
4. 1970 – 1971, staff officer, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
5. 1971 – 1972, senior planner, Amtrak, Washington, D.C.
6. 1972 – 1975, law student, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
7. 1975 – 1976, law clerk, George E. MacKinnon, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
8. 1976 – 1978, Associate, Shea and Gardner Law Firm, Washington, D.C.
9. 1978 – 1986, Assistant General Counsel, Special Counsel to Chairman, and Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, Washington, D.C. (1980 – 1981, on loan per President Reagan to create Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program)
10. 1986 – 1988, self-employed specialist in startups and turnarounds of companies, charities
11. 1988 – 1989, President G.H.W. Bush Transition Team to create Earth Conservation Corps, Washington, D.C.
12. 1989 – 1997, self-employed specialist in startups and turnarounds of companies, charities
13. 1997 – 2001, President and CEO, Deafness Research Foundation, Washington, D.C.
14. 2001 – 2005, self-employed specialist in startups and turnarounds of companies, charities (2004 – 2005, consultant to acting Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Washington, D.C.)
15. 2005 – 2008, Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C.
16. 2008-2009 Special Assistant to the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Logistics and Energy.
17. 2009. Consultant to Mitre Corporation.

AWARDS AND HONORS
Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Award with Bronze Device
Joint Service Commendation Medal
U.S. Representative, Pew Foundation, British American Project

OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS
Law Journal Officer and Note Editor, Yale Law School
Languages: Fluent Spanish
1979 – 1989, Chairman, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
1983 – 1987, Chairman and CEO, Mothers Against Drunk Driving
1993 – present, created, then CEO Vietnam Children’s Fund

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
District of Columbia Bar; Council on Foreign Relations

PUBLICATIONS
Conceived, and contributor to, The Wounded Generation: America After Vietnam, Prentice-Hall, 1981
Touched With Fire: The Future of the Vietnam Generation, Franklin Watts, 1984, and Avon paperback, 1985
A variety of opinion articles, broadcast and cable commentary.
Citation for Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Award, 2008:

CITATION
Mr. John P. Wheeler distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious service to the United States as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia, from 3 November 2005 to 20 June 2008. During this period, Mr. Wheeler’s unwavering integrity, devotion to duty and steadfast leadership led to a number of successful initiatives across the Air Force.

Grasping the growing vulnerability of our weapon systems to Cyber intrusions, he worked tirelessly to drive the activation of Air Force Cyber Command. His visionary efforts were instrumental in the creation of the Cyber Research Center at the Air Force Institute of Technology; the first two graduates of the United States Air Force Academy to enter the Air Force Institute of Technology Cyber Master’s Program; the stand-up of the Air Force Cyber School; and an increased emphasis on Air Force recruitment efforts for officers and enlisted for Cyber careers.

His seasoned experience and knowledge proved invaluable as he helped formulate advice on initiatives such as Joint Basing, Recapitalization, ROVER precision strike data for Army and Marine troops, Acquisition, and a myriad of legislative initiatives facing the Air Force.

His day-to-day interactions with the Office of the Secretary of Defense enhanced relations and ensured streamlined timely responses. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Mr. Wheeler in the dedication of service to his Country reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

END OF CITATION

Via: Delaware Online:

Newark police have identified the body discovered on New Year’s Eve at the Cherry Island Landfill as 66-year-old John P. Wheeler of New Castle.

Wheeler, who lived part time in Old New Castle, worked as a defense consultant and had a long and decorated military career that involved working in the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations.

Wheeler also served as chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which built the wall in Washington, D.C.

His death has been ruled a homicide.

Newark police have had a crime scene unit at Wheeler’s home at 108 West Third St. in Old New Castle all day today, with crime-scene tape roping off the prominent three-story brick home with black shutters.

Friends and neighbors were shocked to learn Wheeler had been murdered.

“This is just not the kind of guy who gets murdered,” said Bayard Marin, a Wilmington attorney who represented Wheeler. “This is not the kind of guy you find in a landfill.”

Wheeler worked in Washington, D.C. and investigators have determined he was on an Amtrak train from Washington to Wilmington on Tuesday, said Newark police Lt. Mark Farrall.

“The last place they can put him is getting off the Amtrak train in Wilmington,” Farrall said.

Research Credit: Matt

5 Responses to “John P. Wheeler III: Former Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Member of Council on Foreign Relations, Consultant to Mitre Corporation Found Dumped in Landfill”

  1. ltcolonelnemo Says:

    Well, whoever killed him didn’t want to make it look like a suicide. They also didn’t kill him in a dramatic fashion in front of a crowd of people. It seems safe to conclude that his death may have served in part as a warning to a certain group of people.

  2. ltcolonelnemo Says:

    From:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....e086f.html

    HT – Rigint Board – Professor Pan:

    “In later years, Wheeler, as special assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force at the Pentagon during the George W. Bush administration, helped develop the Air Force Cyber Command. A citation for his service in 2008 said Wheeler recognized that the military needed to combat the growing vulnerability of U.S. weapon systems to cyber intrusions, according to his biography.

    Longtime friend and fellow West Point graduate Richard Radez said that in an e-mail the day after Christmas, Wheeler wrote he believed the nation wasn’t sufficiently prepared for cyber warfare.

    “This was something that had preoccupied him over the last couple of years,” Radez said.

    Wheeler’s house in New Castle was dark Monday night and no one answered the door. Yellow police evidence tape was stretched across two wooden chairs in the kitchen, where several wooden floorboards were missing.”

  3. Eileen Says:

    Who is losing their nerves in these times, that would dare to kill a guy like this? What do they want to hide that they would kill another human?
    We haven’t been in Kansas (Land of OZ) in the U.S. for a long time now, but sheez. Floorboards missing? Way weird and mysterious.

  4. cgroove69 Says:

    Kevin, thought you’d be happy to know that a google search on John P. Wheeler had Cryptogon.com as the 3rd link on the results page!!

  5. Miraculix Says:

    Those neighbors with whom he’s having an ongoing legal dispute are quickly and succinctly exonerated in the article, without any further detail. Nothing to see here folks, move along, which is where my BS radar usually starts making noises.

    Let’s suppose, just for a moment, that this neighbor is a Company man of some experience, perhaps in the field. And the well-connected, high-powered dickhead featured here is hammering away at you non-stop in his oh-so-Alpha way.

    So, you call in one of your best mates from the old days teaching back at the School of the Americas to do a little high-end wet work.

    You start by doping the guy with micro-doses of neurotoxins that will begin to affect both his mental state and therefore external behavior. You let him stumble forward leaving a trail of odd evidence, as he struggles to maintain his Alpha composure — even as his brain is slowly being turned into a sponge.

    Then the coup de grace, you make sure the ending is nice and showy and looks like something it wasn’t: a contract mob hit or similar.

    Finding him slouched over a couch, or being listed as yet another “heart attack” victim in his obituary, won’t send the right message. You want it to look like a hit, like he’s a political victim or somehow hooked into the cartoon version of organized crime portrayed in the media.

    When in reality, it’s all about the wife continuing to insist on the fourth floor sunroom atop the tower in the new house, and the only way to get it done and make her happy/quiet her down is eliminate the source of the lawsuit keeping your contractors at bay.

    Sometimes, even at this level, I have to imagine things really ARE occasionally still just “personal”.

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