Home > Issues & Alerts > News > Utahn's Brother Tortured & Murdered by Federal Government









Our Site Only
Entire Web


Site Index




Utahn's Brother Tortured & Murdered by Federal Government

(News for 7/17/05)

Are these wounds consistent with a suicide hanging?

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

Warning: The pictures on this page may be too graphic for younger readers.

Summary: Kenneth Michael Trentadue was not only the victim of mistaken identity in the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing investigation, but was tortured and murdered in a federal prison.

This story uncovers the massive abuse, perjury, lies, intimidation, additional murder, and cover-up perpetrated by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Civil Rights Division, federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), federal courts, and various U.S. senators including Orrin Hatch of Utah.

This information was compiled by Kenneth's brother, Jesse Trentadue, who is committed to bringing the perpetrators of this travesty to justice.  Jesse resides in Utah.



Part I. Torture & Murder

Mistaken Identity: Matched Description of Timothy McVeigh's Accomplice

Contacts Brother from Federal Prison

Supposed Cause of Death

Pictures Tell Another Story

Denied CPR for 7 Minutes

Part II. Evidence Hidden or Destroyed

Photographs/Video/Recordings Vanish

Cell Evidence Purged; Clothing Disappears

Part III. Murder & Intimidation of Witnesses

Threatened Medical Experts Expose Truth

Key Witness Murdered

Guard Told: "Keep Mouth Shut"—or Else

Witness Threatened & Punished

Family Also Targeted

Part IV: Lies & Perjury

"Noose" Lie Exposed

Supposed Suicide Note Debunked

Witnesses Testify Despite Failed Polygraphs

Falsified Phone Transcripts

U.S. Senators Feign Assistance

Part V. Secret Cover-up Campaign

Secret Federal Deception Campaign

ABC Secretly Collaborates with Whitewash

DOJ & Judge Seek Gag Order

Investigatory Conflicts of Interest

Conclusion: You Can Help!

State AG's Office Attacks Cover-up

Trentadue Family Awarded $1.1 Million

Ongoing Fight to Expose the Truth


Part I. Torture & Murder

On August 21, 1995, Kenneth Michael Trentadue was supposedly found hanging from a bed sheet in a SHU Unit (maximum custody) cell at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Trentadue was at the Federal Transfer Center as a parole violator for failing to report to his probation officer. The DOJ says that Trentadue was placed in the SHU Unit at his own request for protective custody.

Back to Topics

Mistaken Identity: Matched Description of Timothy McVeigh's Accomplice

[Get details and pictures... Also cover pathetic reasons he was in parole violation.]

Back to Topics

Contacts Brother from Federal Prison

[Get details of phone conversation the day before asking for money and planning to talk again the next day...]

Back to Topics

Supposed Cause of Death

September 1, 1995. The BOP issues a press release announcing that Trentadue's death had been "ruled a suicide by asphyxiation" and further stating that "other cuts and abrasions found on... [Trentadue's] body would indicate persistent attempts... to cause himself serious injury or death." The ruling of "suicide " for the manner of Trentadue's death will not occur until July 1998.

Back to Topics

Pictures Tell Another Story

[Key pictures in this section.]

Back to Topics

Denied CPR for 7 Minutes

Eric Ellis, the guard who supposedly discovered Trentadue hanging in his cell on the morning of August 21, 1995, said that he was "gurgling" but the officer in charge of the institution that morning, Lieutenant Lee, will not allow the door to the cell to be opened. Lee, who admits he has been trained that it took "5-6 minutes" to die from lack of oxygen, instructs Ellis and the other guards to remove the key from the cell door and to wait "seven minutes" before opening the door.

Lee then orders Groover to videotape the body and cell and only after the videotaping is completed does the physician's assistant, Carlos A. Mier, examine Trentadue. Lee tells investigators that he "knew for sure" that Trentadue "was dead and thus he was not concerned with taking any immediate emergency action." Lee's attorney also admitted to investigators from the OIG that Lee knew Trentadue was dead before he arrived at the cell.

No CPR or other resuscitative efforts were performed upon Trentadue because, according to Mier, between the delay in opening the cell door and videotaping, "more than seven minutes had lapsed — that's the time it takes to die." Nevertheless, Mier tells federal investigators that he did perform CPR and other resuscitative efforts and Mier even signs affidavits to this effect which he later admits were not true. Mier likewise perjures himself in front of the Grand Jury.

October 5, 1997: Kathleen Timmons, Chief of the FBI's Color of Law Unit writes a memorandum to her superiors within the FBI, advising them that "efforts had been underway at DOJ to advise Senator Orrin Hatch of the press release before it is publicly announced." More importantly, Timmons reports to Director Freeh and others that she has viewed the "non-existent" Groover videotape (see Part II below) and that as a result of that viewing:

"There is a potential perjury issue regarding a Bureau of Prisons paramedic who indicated he administered CPR to the deceased Trentadue and the evidence of a videotape does not indicate CPR was administered. Other serious issues are involved in the case regarding BOP personnel's alleged mishandling of the corpse and the potential crime scene and the aftermath of Trentadue's death. "

Timmons will later write a memo to her superiors within the FBI expressing her fear that because of the "lack of efforts to resuscitate the victim who was left hanging for an extended period of time after being found" Carlos Mier might face state criminal charges.

Back to Topics

Part II. Evidence Hidden or Destroyed

What follows is a startling account of some of the blatant whitewash perpetrated by the federal government to obstruct truth and justice.

Photographs/Video/Recordings Vanish

According to ???. S.I.S. Lieutenant Kenneth W. Freeman took 35 mm photographs of Trentadue's body and cell [when exactly?]. The negatives of these 35 mm photographs mysteriously disappear soon thereafter along with the photographs from one of the two rolls of film Freeman used to photograph the body and cell. That same morning, Operations Lieutenant Stuart A. Lee takes Polaroid photographs of Trentadue's body and cell. Like the Freeman negatives and 35 mm photographs, these Polaroid photographs likewise mysteriously disappear.

After the conclusion of the Grand Jury and other investigations into the circumstances of Trentadue death, most of these photographs and negatives will be mysteriously found by FBI Agent Tom Linn, some of which are shown in the "Pictures Tell Another Story" section above.

On the morning of August 21, 1995, Guard Roger T. Groover allegedly uses a video camera to videotape Trentadue's body and cell. Groover tells the FBI that he videotaped Trentadue hanging in his cell. Groover will later tell the same thing to the Grand Jury and Office of Inspector General ("OIG"). But Groover will eventually admit that he lied about having seen Trentadue hanging in the cell and about having videotaped Trentadue's hanging body.

Groover likewise swears the camera was functioning properly, but the DOJ claims that the video camera malfunctioned resulting in only a two or three second videotape of no evidentiary importance. The OIG will later have that tape examined by Norman I. Perle, a video forensic expert who reports that the tape had been erased. The OIG will then contact another forensic video expert Bruce Koening, who happens to be a former FBI employee, to give an opinion that the tape had not been erased and that the camera must therefore have malfunctioned.

As stated in the "Denied CPR for 7 Minutes" section above, Kathleen Timmons, Chief of the FBI's Color of Law Unit, claimed to have viewed this "non-existent" Groover video in an October 5, 1997, memorandum to her FBI superiors.

December 1, 1997: David L. Russell, United States District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma finally igns an Order releasing the Grand Jury evidence to the Oklahoma County District Attorney, Robert H. Macy, for use in that office's investigation of Trentadue's death.

December 5, 1997: The FBI Oklahoma City Office sends an e-mail communication to FBI Headquarters questioning instructions they had received from Al Moskowitz, Deputy Chief of the Civil Rights Division. Moskowitz had told the FBI not to make "any release of file and/or evidence to Oklahoma County District Attorney, Robert Macy,..." The Oklahoma City FBI Office was asking why, since the DOJ had promised cooperation and the Federal Judge had released the Grand Jury evidence, Macy was not to receive the other FBI files and evidence not presented to the Grand Jury.

April 2, 1998: The Polaroid photographs taken of Trentadue's body and cell on the morning of August 21, 1995, are discovered by FBI Agent Tom Linn. But rather than being lost, these Polaroids photographs are in the possession of Rita M. Sampson, Assistant General Counsel for the FBI's Civil Litigation Unit in Washington, D.C. Sampson's job is to oversee the defense of any civil lawsuit brought against the FBI as a result of its handling of Trentadue's case. Linn also learns from Sampson that the FBI obtained these original Polaroid photographs from BOP Regional Headquarters in Dallas, Texas (which just happens to be the office of Michael D. Hood) in August of 1996. These original photographs were never shown to either the Grand Jury or to the Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office's investigators and for good reason: when the original photographs are enlarged, they show blood spatter in cell 709A.

May 13, 1998: DOJ lawyers produced a Privilege Log of the documents that will not be given to attorneys for Trentadue's family's civil law suit. On that Privilege Log appear entries such as "302 Re: Evidence Provided to DA Staff" and "Letter to Michael R. Bromwich from J. Trentadue 3/12/98." Jesse C. Trentadue's March 12, 1998 letter to Bromwich, head of the OIG, concerned "false FBI interview reports." Jesse had been asked by Bromwich to provide the OIG with evidence of wrong doing by DOJ officials under the assurance that it would not find its way into the hands of the DOJ attorneys defending the government against my family's law suit. The free flow of information between the Torts Branch attorneys defending the DOJ from Trentadue's family's civil suit and the OIG investigators.

June 8, 1999: The OIG retains Norman I. Perle, a well-recognized expert on video/audio authentication (Rodney King case, L.A. Riots, etc.), to examine the Groover videotape and camera used by Groover and to give the OIG an opinion as to whether the camera malfunctioned as the DOJ claims or whether the tape had in fact been intentionally erased. Perle orally reports his initial findings to the OIG that: "The camera was working on the date in question, 8/21/95," and that "there is specific evidence of tampering [with the Groover videotape] and the testing confirms that visual and audio material was removed (obliterated)."

In other words, Perle reports to the OIG that the camera did not malfunction, that Groover did videotape Trentadue's cell, and that tape was subsequently erased. OIG agents suddenly — without any explanation — take back the videotape and camera from Perle before Perle has completed his analysis. Nevertheless, by this date, Perle had completed enough of an analysis of the videotape and camera to conclusively say that the Groover video camera had functioned properly and that the tape had been erased. The OIG then takes the camera and videotape to another, more friendly analyst for an opinion. This analyst is Bruce Koenig, who just happens to be a retired supervisor of the FBI Crime Lab, and Koenig opines that the tape had not been erased.

Back to Topics

Cell Evidence Purged; Clothing Disappears

When Trentadue's body was discovered, he was wearing blood-stained khaki pants and a blood-stained T-shirt. But when his body is turned over to the Medical Examiner at 7:00 a.m. that morning, he is wearing only blood-stained boxer shorts. An FBI Memorandum will later reveal that FBI Agent Jeff Jenkins left the "clothing" in the trunk of his car until it putrefied and that "Jenkins took the smelly bloody clothing out of his car and now had it in the FBI office." The clothing disappeared and has never been seen since. Agent Jenkins denies this entire occurrence.

Under Oklahoma law, the death scene was required to be preserved. Federal law likewise required that any inmate suicide be investigated by a "psychological reconstruction team" and that the death scene,

"...shall [be] handle[d]... with the same level of protection as any crime scene in which a death has occurred to insure that available evidence... is preserved... for subsequent investigators doing a psychological reconstruction."
Source: ???

By law, a "psychological reconstruction" must be done of every inmate suicide. This psychological reconstruction is an in depth investigation and report on the alleged suicide, including method, means, motive, etc. Trentadue's alleged suicide is the only one for which the BOP did not do a psychological reconstruction.

On the afternoon of August 21, 1995, the evidence in cell 709A where Trentadue's body was supposedly discovered is destroyed when that cell is cleaned by inmates and staff. In order to have the cell cleaned, Freeman falsely tells his superiors at the Federal Transfer Center that he contacted the FBI and that the FBI had released the crime scene. Freeman would later admit that he lied about having FBI approval to destroy the crime scene and boast that, "if I have to take a hit for it so be it." But like Garza (see "Guard Told: "Keep Mouth Shut"—or Else" section), Freeman will insist that he was forced to lie by OIG Agent Ronald Holland.

The inmates barely managed to finish cleaning Trentadue's cell before the arrival of the Psychological Reconstruction Team at 2:00 p.m. on August 21, 1995. Trentadue's cell was cleaned even though the Federal Transfer Center administration had known before 8:00 a.m. that morning that the Psychological Reconstruction Team would be at the facility that afternoon to investigate, including examining the cell and they had been told by the Chief Investigator for the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner's Office to preserve the crime scene.

Meanwhile, the Federal Transfer Center psychologist, David Wedeking, meets with his superiors and leaves that meeting to prepare a Suicide Watch Report stating that Trentadue had been placed on suicide watch shortly before his death. Wedeking later admits under oath that the Suicide Watch Report was false and that there had been no suicide watch.

December 14, 1995: Rowland returns to Trentadue's cell. The supposed suicide note on the wall of that cell had been painted over (see "Supposed Suicide Note Debunked" section).

February 6, 1996: Oklahoma City Homicide Detective Tom Bevel completes a review of second or third generation copies of the existing crime scene photographs for the FBI. Bevel has to review copies from copies of these photographs because the negatives are missing. Bevel is not shown the photographs from one roll of film taken by Freeman nor the Lee Polaroids or Groover videotape. From this limited evidence, however, Bevel concludes that, based upon the blood flow pattern on the body, Trentadue had been wearing clothing at the time of his death.

Bevel recommends to the FBI that "the inmate's clothing should also be examined to determine the type, location, and distribution of any blood stains." Bevel was obviously never told of this missing evidence, otherwise he would not have made that recommendation regarding examining Trentadue's clothing. It will later come to light that Bevel was also hired by the DOJ to be an expert witness for the government in defense of Trentadue's family's civil law suit.

April 4, 1996: BOP Assistant Director Cheney writes to senator Feinstein to head off any inquiry by the Senate Judiciary Committee into the manner of Trentadue's death. Cheney assures Feinstein that,

"...a representative of the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office came to the institution, reviewed Kenneth Michael Trentadue, and examined the cell. The cell had not been disturbed except for the removal of the body."

Cheney's representations to Feinstein were not true. Trentadue's brother Jesse subsequently wrote to confront Cheney about the fact that he had lied to Senator Feinstein. DOJ records reveal that upon receipt of that letter Cheney went directly to Al Moskowitz, Deputy Chief of the Civil Rights Division to ask for help in "responding."

Back to Topics

Falsified Phone Transcripts

March 12, 1996: Inmate telephone calls at the Federal Transfer Center are recorded. On the morning of August 19, 1995, Trentadue called his brother Jesse's home and spoke with his sister-in-law Rita. Rita was surprised to learn that he was in Oklahoma and asked how that had happened to which Trentadue said: "It's that JET AGE stuff."

Trentadue then explained to Rita how he had been flown to Oklahoma for a probation hearing. The BOP obtained a tape of that conversation and had it transcribed in September of 1995. But to support its theory that Trentadue had committed suicide out of fear that he had contracted AIDS, the transcript of that discussion between Trentadue and his sister-in-law was changed to read "It's that AIDS stuff" and that false transcript was released on this date to investigators.

Back to Topics

Part III. Murder & Intimidation of Witnesses

Key witnesses in the Trentadue murder reported being threatened, intimidated, and punished.  One key witness was found dead — likewise hanging from the bed sheet in his cell — only days after seeking witness help against threats by guards.

Threatened Medical Experts Expose Truth

Within approximately 24 hours of Trentadue's death, on August 22, 1995, Kevin Rowland, Chief Investigator for the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner files a "murder" complaint with the FBI stating:

"That the authorities at FTC's version of victim's alleged suicide is not consistent with Medical Examiner's report."

On this same date, the OIG completes its first "investigation" concluding that no "prosecutable federal crime had occurred." That "first investigation" was carried by many of the same individuals who will conduct the "second investigation" which results in the November 18, 1999, OIG Report with essentially the same conclusion.

December 20, 1995: The Medical Examiner meets with representatives of the DOJ who urge him to withhold release of his autopsy report until the FBI can complete its investigation. Jordan tells the Assistant United States Attorney from the Western District of Oklahoma that, irrespective of the manner of Trentadue's death (homicide to suicide),

"Trentadue had been abused and tortured..."

A few days before this meeting, the Medical Examiner was allowed into the Federal Transfer Center to examine Trentadue's cell. During that examination of the cell, Jordan is threatened by guards. The threats are so serious that Dr. Jordan reports them to the FBI, but nothing is ever done about the matter.

July 1, 1997: Dr. Jordan speaks with the Assistant United States Attorney for Western District of Oklahoma. Jordan tells the Assistant United States Attorney "that the federal Grand Jury is part of a cover-up" and that he "feel[s] it is very likely this man was killed..." The Assistant United States Attorneys immediately conveys Jordan's comments to the BOP even though the Trentadue had been assured by Civil Rights Division attorneys that there would be no such linkage or communication between those investigating Trentadue's death and the targets of that investigation — especially the BOP.

October 10, 1997: The Medical Examiner [Dr. Jordan, right?] issues a press release stating that he personally found the results of the Grand Jury "disappointing, but not surprising in view of the circumstances." He went on to say that:

"From the outset, the Federal Government through its refusal to cooperate in allowing a thorough technical scene investigation by a competent police technical investigating unit assured that adequate scientific answers to how Mr. Trentadue received his myriad of injuries will never be available. The refusal further assured that we will never be able to prove to a reasonable certainty if Mr. Trentadue hanged himself or if another asphyxial mechanism came into play. Since scientific scene investigation is the hallmark of good death investigation in our country, one has to wonder why the Government of the United States took the action that it did in this death investigation."

October 22, 1997: Dr. Jordan speaks with Senator Dorgan by telephone about Trentadue's case. Jordan tells Dorgan his "feelings that the investigation was crippled, the decedent was at least beaten, we haven't found the truth and probably won't." Jordan goes on to tell the Senator about his,

"...lack of trust in the federal government... and the DOJ in particular."

December 11, 2002: Dr. Jordan, the Oklahoma Medical examiner gives a deposition in which he states under oath:

  • that in the Trentadue case he was "harassed by the Department of Justice from the very beginning...";

  • that Trentadue was "beaten"; and

  • that Trentadue's injuries were consistent with Trentadue having been in a "altercation" prior to his death.

Dr. Jordan's Chief Investigator, Kevin Rowland, is also deposed and states under oath that:

  • he believe the federal government had "lied to the medical examiner's office";

  • that the federal government had been involved in a "cover-up"; and

  • that the FBI never told the medical examiner's office that someone else's blood was found in Trentadue's cell or that the noose around Trentadue's neck had no cut marks even though the BOP guards all claimed that Trentadue had been found hanging and cut down by them.

January 16, 1997: Dr. William Gormley, of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, completes his review of the autopsy of Trentadue's body, which was done at the request of Civil Rights Division Attorneys Kevin Forder and Sheryl Robinson. Gormley tells the Civil Rights Division attorneys that because of the destruction of the crime scene, he agrees with the Medical Examiner's conclusion that the manner of death should correctly be listed as "unknown." Gormley goes on to say, however, that he believes "the deceased was assaulted."

April 11, 1997: NBC Dateline airs a show on Trentadue's death, including interviews with Utah senator Orrin Hatch (see previous "U.S. Senators Feign Assistance," section) and the Medical Examiner, Dr. Fred Jordan. When asked if he had ever seen a "suicide" like this, Jordan responded:

"No! Not only have I not seen it in 20 — almost 20 years of forensic practice,... and I presented this informally to colleagues from other states and I have not encountered one who had ever seen anything like this before in a — in a suicide."

More importantly, Jordan is asked whether some of the trauma of Trentadue's body (i.e. bruising on the underside of the arms) was self-inflicted, and he answers:

"No, I think that was done by someone else."

Following the NBC Dateline program, Jordan writes a memo to the file stating: "The Dateline program on 11/8 Apr. 97 was completely accurate..."

July 3, 1997: The Medical Examiner goes on national television and states that Trentadue was "very likely murdered" but that because of Freeman's destruction of the crime scene, "I am not able to prove it." The Medical Examiner also says that the DOJ's destruction and loss of evidence in Trentadue's case was incompetent or worse "planned."

March 31, 1998: Dr. Jordan meets with Richard Wintory, the Assistant Oklahoma County District Attorney conducting that Office's investigation into the circumstances of Trentadue's death. This meeting took place when the Oklahoma County District Attorney's investigation was in its infancy. Yet Wintory tells Jordan about his [Wintory's] "desire to hold a press conference expressing, among other things, his regrets to the employees of the FTC for the length of the investigation and problems it may have caused them." Wintory is, in other words, going to apologize to the DOJ for any embarrassment Trentadue's family may have caused by questioning the manner of Trentadue's death and, more importantly, he is planning this apology before he has even concluded his investigation. According to Jordan's memorandum of that meeting, he tells Wintory that in his opinion "the fact that the family of the deceased had to do the initial investigation is perhaps where a real apology belongs."

July 10, 1998: Investigators from the Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office meet with Dr. Jordan and convince him to change the manner of death from "unknown" to "suicide." This same day, Jordan releases a media statement announcing his "suicide" determination explaining that it was based upon the fact "that in the 17 hours before his death, Mr. Trentadue was by himself" and the suicide note written on the wall of that cell which had been identified as being in Trentadue's handwriting. But neither of these facts were true, especially the claim about the handwriting. The handwriting theory was, in fact, supplied by OIG investigators (see "Supposed Suicide Note Debunked" section).

Back to Topics

Key Witness Murdered

December 9, 1999. Jesse Trentadue receives a call from inmate Alden Gillis Baker, from USP Lompoc, California.  Baker was a violent psychopath and the only witness to Trentadue's murder willing to testify. BOP records show that Trentadue was placed in the same cell with Baker who, because of his violence and psychological problems, was to be celled alone. The DOJ claims that Baker and Trentadue never occupied the same cell and that Baker was in fact celled in another part of the institution at the time of Trentadue's death. But all permanent records that would show Baker's exact location within the Federal Transfer Center at the time of Trentadue's death have disappeared. These records disappeared from widely dispersed locations, but before they disappeared they were apparently in the possession of the FBI because an FBI Memorandum states that "records indicate that Baker and Trentadue occupied cell A709 on 8/20/95 and 8/21/95."

Baker telephoned Jesse Trentadue to ask for help because he was being threatened by guards at USP Lompoc. During that conversation, Baker told Jesse that he had called DOJ Attorney Peter Schlossman, one of the attorneys representing the government against my family's civil law suit, to tell Schlossman about the threats he was receiving from BOP staff and to ask for help. Baker went on to say that upon hearing this, Schlossman asked Baker whether Baker was willing to say that his deposition testimony about having witnessed Kenneth Trentadue's murder was a lie. In response to that question, Baker told Schlossman that his deposition testimony was the truth. Upon hearing this, Baker said Schlossman responded, "I have nothing further to say to you," and hung up the telephone.

August 3, 2000. Baker was found hanging by a bed sheet in his SHU Unit cell at Lompoc. The DOJ contends that Baker's death was a suicide, but will not release any documents or evidence on the matter. That telephone call was recorded by the BOP and it still likely exists, but the DOJ will not turn over the recording to Trentadue's family. Not only does Baker's death mirror Trentadue's, but it is exactly what another inmate, Nick Arcabasso, was told would happen to him if he told anyone about having heard guard Rodney DeChamplain say that "he killed Trentadue." Arcabasso was told if he said anything about that admission, he would "just be found swinging from a bedsheet."

Back to Topics

Guard Told: "Keep Mouth Shut"—or Else

Robert Garza was a guard on duty at the time of Trentadue's death who told his neighbor, William Foster Garrett, that,

"guards out there killed this old boy and then tried to hang him to cover it up."

According to Garrett, Garza also said,

"...if I didn't keep my mouth shut, people were going to come burn my home down." [bold added]

Garrett reports Garza's admissions to FBI Agent Linn, but Garrett is not even called to the Grand Jury. Instead, Garza denies that he made any such statement to Garrett. Garza will later say that he was instructed by OIG Agent Ronald Holland to perjure himself.

Back to Topics

Witness Threatened & Punished

March 3, 1997: Shortly before he is to appear before the Grand Jury and testify about having heard guard Rodney DeChamplain admit to Trentadue's murder, inmate Nick Arcabasso is confronted by agents from the BOP and told that he had better not testify against DeChamplain. Arcabasso refuses and is officially charged with "making false allegations against a staff member" and sent to the hole. Arcabasso is sent to the hole even though DeChamplain had taken and not passed a polygraph examination on whether he had in fact confessed to Trentadue's murder in the presence of Arcabasso.

Back to Topics

Family Also Targeted

March 25, 1997: Accusing Trentadue's brother Jesse of being on a "campaign to discredit the federal Government," the Civil Rights Division attorneys conducting the Grand Jury and the FBI hold a meeting to discuss the possibility of indicting Jesse C. Trentadue for "obstruction [of justice] or fraud..." The consensus of those present at that meeting is not to open a separate investigation of Jesse C. Trentadue because he would have to be notified that he was a "target."

The Civil Rights Division attorneys and FBI, therefore, agree to secretly investigate Jesse C. Trentadue under the guise of investigating Kenneth Michael Trentadue's death and the DOJ will enlist the aid of an inmate named James Hauser to help them indict Jesse Trentadue. Hauser promises the DOJ to place a "yolk of silence" around Jesse C. Trentadue's neck by testifying that he paid inmates to perjure themselves. Hauser was polygraphed, failed that polygraph, but was nevertheless presented to the Grand Jury to give perjured testimony.

June 27, 1997: Jesse C. Trentadue receives a response from the FBI to a 1995 Freedom of Information Act request he had filed asking for all records which the FBI maintained on him. Jesse C. Trentadue is told that his request was being denied because of the ongoing investigation into the circumstances of his brother's death. But more importantly, the FBI told Jesse C. Trentadue in that letter that: "Please be advised that you are not the target of this investigation." That comment, too, was untrue.

Back to Topics

Part IV: Lies & Perjury

One by one, government witnesses, claims, and theories vanished under the light of public scrutiny.

"Noose" Lie Exposed

August 11, 1997: The FBI Crime Lab completes its analysis of the ligature which Trentadue was suppose to have used to have hanged himself. The Crime Lab discovers that the noose portion of the ligature had not been cut which means that Guard Eric Ellis was lying when he appeared before the Grand Jury and testified that they used scissors to cut Trentadue down after he was discovered hanging was lying. This evidence, however, was not included in the FBI Crime Lab's report of the ligature examination. This evidence was likewise withheld from the Grand Jury.

November 13, 2000: The Trentadue family's trial began against Oklahoma City against the United States DOJ and Operations Lt. Stuart A. Lee (who was in charge of the FTC at the time of Trentadue's death). J. Douglas Perkins, a fabric expert employed by the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation, testified that agents from the OIG were "involved in the investigation and normally accompanied Oklahoma City Police Department" investigators.

Perkins  had been asked to examine the ligature and he made these findings from that examination:

  • that he could not tear the sheet into strips and fashion a ligature because of a heavy hem;

  • that in several places someone had used scissors or a knife to partially cut and then tear this sheet into strips; and

  • that the noose portion of the ligature had not been cut. Perkins told both the Oklahoma County District Attorney's investigators, and also OIG agent Carlos Capano of these crucial findings.

Neck wound matches plastic handcuff used by federal prison guards.

(Click on picture to enlarge)

But Perkins' findings are never mentioned in the Oklahoma County District Attorney's Final Report of its investigation or in the OIG Report despite their obvious significance. More importantly, the Medical Examiner is not told that someone else's blood was found in Trentadue's cell and that the noose around his neck had not been cut.

A second piece of crucial evidence was a Polaroid photograph (see photo to the right) of the ligature mark on Trentadue's neck taken by the Oklahoma Medical Examiner during the autopsy. This photograph shows that the mark left by the ligature with which Trentadue was strangled matched a plastic handcuff of the type used by guards at the FTC.

Back to Topics

Supposed Suicide Note Debunked

December 14, 1995: Again, when Rowland returned to Trentadue's cell, the note on the wall of that cell had been painted over. The FBI Crime Lab, left with nothing but several photographs of the writing to analyze reported:

"Due... to the lack of detail in the submitted photographs... [it] is doubtful is this handwriting will ever be identified with hand printing of a known individual."

Years later, however, the DOJ will claim that the note was written by Trentadue to his Hispanic wife and signed "love familia." In a July 19, 1998, Daily Oklahoman article, Richard Wintory, the Assistant Oklahoma County District Attorney, explains where the suicide note theory originated. Wintory said that his "investigators discounted the value of the note" until the "Office of Inspector General... positively identified Trentadue's handwriting using his past correspondence and confirmed that the last word was the Spanish word for family."

But the OIG never "positively" identified that writing as belonging to Trentadue. In fact, the OIG does not obtain an opinion from a "handwriting expert" until August 20, 1998, and even that opinion is suspect because it was rendered by Immigration and Naturalization document examiner, Gideon Epstein (not a handwriting expert) who could only say that the note was "probably" written by Trentadue.

Moreover, approximately one year later on May 17, 1999, Jesse Trentadue received a letter from the OIG asking him for the original correspondence from Trentadue to his wife and to our sister written shortly before his death. The OIG was requesting these letters because,

"The writing found on the inside walls of cell 709A at the time your brother's death deserve a careful and independent evaluation."

In other words, the OIG was not sure that Trentadue had written that message. Yet, it had misled the Oklahoma County District Attorney to believe so and the Oklahoma County District Attorney in turn convinced the Medical Examiner to change the manner of death based upon this non-existence evidence.

Back to Topics

Witnesses Testify Despite Failed Polygraphs

May 29, 1997: Civil Rights Division attorneys return to Gormley and ask him to "come to Oklahoma City and testify before the Grand Jury in June." Civil Rights Division want Gormley to testify that "it might be possible these [Trentadue's] injuries are self-inflicted."

Gormley refuses and immediately notifies the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office of this occurrence. Gormley tells the Medical Examiner's Office that he was now even more convinced "that this man was murdered." Also on this date, the FBI Agent Tom Linn interviews William Foster Garrett, who is a neighbor of guard Robert Garza. Garrett tells the FBI that Garza told him:

"The guards accidentally killed the inmate and then hung him to cover-up their actions."

Garrett likewise tells Linn that Garza said, "...this is not the first time and it will not be the last." Garrett even tells Linn that Garza threatened to kill Garrett and his entire family if he (Garrett) told anyone about the matter. Garza was given a polygraph examination and asked whether he in fact made these statements to Garrett. Garza fails that polygraph examination. But Garrett is never called to testify before the Grand Jury. Garza, however, testifies before the Grand Jury and denies having made those statements to Garrett. Garza later admits that he perjured himself but claims he was instructed to do so by OIG Agent Ronald Holland.

June 10, 1997: Inmate Kerry Binger writes to Attorney General Reno offering to help her "quickly resolve" the Trentadue matter. Binger claims to be Trentadue's best friend and is willing to testify that not only was Trentadue homosexual but that Trentadue confided in Binger that if ever returned to prison, he would commit suicide. Neither the FBI nor the Civil Rights Division attorneys ever asked Trentadue's family if any of these facts were true. But the Civil Rights Division attorneys and FBI do polygraph Binger and results of that examination show that he was lying. Despite knowing that Binger was not telling the truth on these matters, Civil Rights Division attorneys present him to the Grand Jury and knowingly [??? the word knowingly would is hard to prove in court, unless you have some internal documentation you can provide] allow Binger to give perjured testimony.

Back to Topics

Part V. Secret Cover-up Campaign

The federal government secretly orchestrated a broad-based, disinformation campaign to minimize its actions and obstruct justice.

Secret Federal Deception Campaign

August 13, 1997: The Grand Jury investigating Trentadue's death concludes with a no bill of indictment. The conclusion of the Grand Jury, however, was kept secret by the DOJ in order to put into place a "roll-out plan" which it termed the "Trentadue mission." Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder chaired meetings at which the roll-out plan was developed. The DOJ personnel in charge of implementing this roll-out plan likened it to "coordinating the invasion of Normandy."

This roll-out plan involved applying major spin treatment to Senator "Hatch and possibly Dorgan," to dissuade them from further questioning the circumstances of Trentadue's death and to "reach out to the press before or at the same time that we expect Trentadue to do so." More importantly, two key components of this roll-out plan were follow-up investigations by the OIG and Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office with "6(e) [Grand Jury material] to go to DA." Internal DOJ documents reveal that the DOJ intended to use these "subsequent investigations" as an excuse for not releasing information about Trentadue's death by claiming that to do so would "impair" these investigations.

As part of the roll-out plan, the DOJ asked the Court presiding over Trentadue's family's civil suit for a stay of discovery alleging that making evidence available to my attorney's would interfere with the ongoing Grand Jury. DOJ Attorney Steven Snyder makes that Motion which he supports with a sworn declaration from Isabelle Katz Pinzler, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. In that declaration, Pinzler states that there is a "ongoing Grand Jury investigation" which "could be prejudiced" by release of the evidence, which was not true. DOJ documents also reveal that Snyder was involved in implementing a roll-out plan.

October 9, 1997: The DOJ releases a press statement announcing the conclusion of the Grand Jury. But there is no mention in that press release about the Grand Jury having secretly concluded months earlier. The press release likewise falsely states that,

"...this matter will now be referred to the Office of Inspector General to determine whether the conduct of any federal employee in connection with the death of Trentadue and its aftermath may have violated Administrative Rules and Procedures."

That statement was false because the matter had already been referred to the OIG, as part of the roll-out plan. The press release likewise went on to falsely state that:

"The Justice Department will also work cooperative with state and local officials including the appropriate Oklahoma State District Attorney in their efforts to determine whether the state or criminal laws were violated."

This statement was false because a determination had already been made by the Civil Rights Division not to release non-Grand Jury evidence to the Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office. Because the Grand Jury had concluded, Trentadue's brother Jesse renews his Freedom of Information of Act Request to the FBI for the files that the FBI had compiled in an effort to indict him.

November 13, 2000: The Trentadue family's trial commences in Oklahoma City against the United States DOJ and Operations Lt. Stuart A. Lee — who was in charge of the FTC at the time of Trentadue's death. Several crucial pieces of evidence develop at trial related to Trentadue having been murdered.

First, it was learned that the noose was a fabrication, as discussed in the "Noose" Lie Exposed section.

A final piece of crucial evidence developed at trial was the fact that a person's blood other than Trentadue's was identified in Cell A-709. But no one was ever requested to provide a blood sample in order to determine the origin of this blood. When asked why no blood sample was obtained to identify the origin of this blood, the agent in charge of the Trentadue investigation, Tom Linn, responded that there were "no suspects."

Back to Topics

ABC Secretly Collaborates with Whitewash

July 14, 1998: Wintory makes good on his promise to hold a press conference. He holds that press conference at, of all places, the Federal Transfer Center, which could not have been accomplished without the assistance of the OIG. It would likewise have required some time to obtain the high level DOJ clearance needed for that press conference even if the request was hand-carried by the OIG through the DOJ bureaucracy. It is also obvious that the media conscious DOJ would never have consented to such a press conference at the Federal Transfer Center if Wintory were going to voice any criticism of that agency.

This means that Wintory's suicide determination had been reached long, long ago and that this press conference was designed to defuse any criticism of the DOJ over its handling of Trentadue's case. More importantly, Wintory even uses cell 709A within the Federal Transfer Center to stage or reenact Trentadue's alleged suicide.

This reenactment is secretly filmed or videotaped for the DOJ by ABC Nightline. The DOJ then takes the suicide re-enactment videotape that ABC Nightline produced and sends it to national media outlets telling recipients that:

"We trust the enclosed material will assist your organization in correcting the record and presenting a factual update of this story to your audience."

ABC Nightline's involvement in filming that suicide re-enactment would likewise have required some time to put into place all of which means that this was a well orchestrated media event as the roll-out plan had intended.

Back to Topics

DOJ & Judge Seek Gag Order

August 18, 1998: Tim Leonard, United States District Judge, enters an Order in the Trentadue case prohibiting Kenneth Michael Trentadue's family from going to federal prosecutors and/or Congressional oversight committees with evidence of crimes committed by DOJ Employees. Steven B. Snyder, Assistant United States Attorney, requested that Order on behalf of the DOJ.

January 26, 1999: Richard L. Huff, co-Director of the DOJ's Office of Information and Privacy, tells Jesse C. Trentadue that,

"The Office of Inspector General of the DOJ is still investigating the death of your brother and has asked that the FBI not release any of the records it maintains."

March 25, 1999: The negatives from one roll of the two rolls of 35 mm photograph which the BOP took of Trentadue's body and cell are suddenly located in the FBI Oklahoma City Office. FBI Agent Tom Linn "finds" the negatives. But Linn does not find the missing photographs from the second roll of film or the negatives from that second roll of film. These negatives had remained "lost" throughout the Grand Jury and Oklahoma County District Attorney's investigation into the circumstances of Trentadue's death.

Without negatives, the Grand Jury and Oklahoma County District Attorney's investigators were required to rely upon crime scene photographs that had been made from copies of photographs which were greatly distorted and could not be enlarged to show more detail of the crime scene. Interestingly, using these original negatives, the Trentadue family obtained enlargements of the crime scene photographs that show blood spatter [Need to add those pictures here!], which the author of the OIG Report contends does not exist or was never observed in cell 709A. According to the FBI photographer, Felicia Mussyal, she was "90 percent certain that she saw Freeman's negatives sometime between November 1997 and April 1998" in the possession of Tom Linn.

Back to Topics

Investigatory Conflicts of Interest

August 24, 1995: BOP Director Kathleen Hawk-Sawyer forms a Board of Inquiry to investigate the circumstances of Trentadue's death. She appoints BOP attorney Michael D. Hood to head that investigation, which is a strange choice since Hood is also the man who will oversee the defense of any civil suit brought by the Trentadue family. Director Hawk-Sawyer instructs Hood to treat any report prepared by that inquiry team as "attorney work product." The "work product" designation means that this investigation was being done to defend the DOJ against a civil lawsuit instead of an official investigation to determine the circumstances of Trentadue's death.

More importantly, the DOJ was preparing to defend itself against a future civil lawsuit when the Trentadue family had not even received Kenneth's body home for the funeral and, therefore, were unaware of the extensive injuries he had suffered prior to death. Within days of Trentadue's death, Hood and his team go to the Federal Transfer Center and spend approximately a week there "preserving" evidence, including "eight (8) Polaroid pictures of the inmate and cell."

This is the last reference to the Polaroid photograph taken by Lee until they are "rediscovered " years later. The BOP Board of Inquiry team goes to Trentadue's cell, observes the note written on the wall of that cell and reports that it reads as follows:

"My mind is no longer its friend, love Paul."

The Government later claims that that note was a suicide note written by Trentadue to his Hispanic wife and that it read:

"My mind is no longer its friend, love Familia."

August 30, 1995: Trentadue's family hand-delivered to the BOP Regional Office in Dallas, Texas, a letter accusing Federal Transfer Center guards of murder. Enclosed with that letter were copies of the photographs Trentadue's family took of his injuries once they received his body home for the funeral.

October 12, 1995: The Assistant Director and General Counsel of the BOP, Wallace H. Cheney, sends an e-mail to the BOP Office of Internal Affairs, which was also "investigating" the circumstances of Trentadue's death. The purpose of this e-mail is to warn the BOP Office of Internal Affairs that "there is a great likelihood of a lawsuit by the family of the inmate." In "lawyer speak," Cheney was instructing the Office of Internal Affairs to be very careful about any findings it made with respect to the conduct of DOJ employees in the manner of Trentadue's death since those findings could be used as evidence against the DOJ in any civil suit brought by my family. At that point in time, Trentadue's family had never threatened any sort of legal action against the DOJ.

November 16, 1995. BOP attorney Ann Tran meets with FBI Agent Jeff Jenkins to discuss the Medical Examiner's jurisdiction and control over the investigation into the manner of Trentadue's death. Tran tells Jenkins that because the Federal Transfer Center was "not on federal ground," the DOJ was "obliged to follow state law" and, therefore,

"the Medical Examiner is entitled to all information and records pertaining to the deceased in doing their investigation."

Jenkins' response to Tran was to say that,

"he doesn't care about Oklahoma law... and that if the Medical Examiner is "conducting an investigation for Trentadue's brother, then he gets nothing." [bold added]

That same day, the head of the BOP South Central Region, Charles Turnbo, reports Tran's discussions with Jenkins to Director Hawk at BOP Headquarters. Turnbo also tells Hawk that,

"we're continuing to ‘push' the FBI to conclude the investigation on the suicide..." [bold added]

This same day, Kevin Rowland from the Medical Examiner's Office inspects Trentadue's cell along with Jenkins and the FTC Administration. Rowland orders Jenkins to have the note on the wall of Trentadue's cell analyzed by the FBI Crime Lab.

November 29, 1995: The first major news story on Trentadue's death appears when CNN does an 8-minute story on its national news. Interestingly, the OIG Report states that "the pace of the [FBI] investigation increased significantly in December [1995]."

December 6, 1995: Referring to Dr. Jordan as a "loose cannon," The FBI Oklahoma City Office reports to FBI Headquarters that,

"the Medical Examiner's findings will probably rule that... [Trentadue's] death was a homicide."

On this same day, FBI Agent Jenkins reports to FBI Headquarters that "the new Warden at the FTC will not allow any of the guards/officials to take polygraph examinations. The prison guards are represented by a strong union which will probably also object to their members taking a polygraph."

July 6, 1996: The Grand Jury convenes to investigate Trentadue's death. But unlike most Grand Juries, this Grand Jury is conducted by attorneys from Main Justice in Washington, D.C. instead of local United States attorneys. The Main Justice attorneys in charge of that Grand Jury are Kevin Forder and Sheryl Robinson.

January 28, 1997: The Deputy Attorney General presides over a highly unethical, if not illegal, meeting with the Civil Rights Division attorneys conducting the Grand Jury and the Torts Branch attorneys who will defend the DOJ against the civil lawsuit. The subject of that meeting is "the Trentadue matter." This meeting took place long before the Trentadue family filed a lawsuit against the DOJ. Yet the notes of that meeting are claimed to be privileged under the "work product doctrine," which means the purpose of that meeting was to defend a civil lawsuit.

In addition, as noted in the "Cell Evidence Purged; Clothing Disappears" section, Oklahoma City Homicide Detective Tom Bevel was also hired by the DOJ to be an expert witness for the government in defense of Trentadue's family's civil law suit.

November 17, 1999: The Criminal Division of the DOJ tells the OIG that none of the DOJ employees recommended for prosecution by the OIG will be prosecuted. Prior to that announcement, however, Glenn A. Fine, Director of the OIG Special Investigations and Review Unit, e-mails Lee J. Radek, Chief of the DOJ Public Integrity Section, regarding those prosecutions:

"Could you fax over either the declination letter in the Trentadue case or the standard language that is used in such a letter. I want to get the wording right in our report."

Radek's reply to Fine's request is:

"The key words will be, ‘declined... for lack of prosecutive[sic] merit' — our usual language."

But FBI documents reveal that the decision not to prosecute had actually been made shortly after commencement of the OIG's investigation. An FBI Memorandum dated June 30, 1998, documents a meeting between the Agent in charge of the FBI's Oklahoma City Office and Stephen Beauchamp of the OIG in which Beauchamp states that he,

"had confirmed that the Civil Rights Division of DOJ had formally declined prosecution with respect to two FBI employees involved in the Trentadue investigation."

That same Memorandum states that during one interview of an FBI agent by the OIG, "the agent was asked to surrender his weapon before entering the interviewing location." According to the author of this Memorandum, "the next agent to be interviewed apparently heard from the other agent that the OIG would be asking the agent to surrender his weapon, therefore before entering the building where the OIG interviews were taking place, this agent locked his weapon in the trunk of his vehicle."

November 18, 1999: The OIG releases the Report of its investigation into the circumstances of Trentadue's death. The Report states that OIG investigators found "no credible evidence that "BOP or FBI officials conspired to cover-up the circumstances surrounding his [Trentadue's] death." More than four years after it concluded the "first investigation" of Trentadue's death, the report of the second OIG investigation is completed. Unlike the first investigation, however, the second investigation does uncover "prosecutable federal crimes" committed by DOJ employees. But no one is prosecuted for those violations of federal law so the results of both investigations are the same: NO PROSECUTABLE FEDERAL CRIMES.

It will later be discovered that Tom Bevel, the DOJ's expert witness in the civil suit brought by Trentadue's family, helped write the OIG Report. The OIG also sent that Report to the presiding judge over the Trentadue civil suit, along with other evidence of an ex parte nature.

Back to Topics

U.S. Senators Feign Assistance

April 11, 1997: NBC Dateline airs a show on Trentadue's death, wherein Utah senator Orrin Hatch describes the DOJ's handling of Trentadue's case as "colossal incompetence." The Senator goes on to say that the "possibility of cover-up" is "certainly something you can't ignore." Hatch states:

"There are a lot of things that just are phony about this, that just don't add up.... There is no excuse for anybody covering this up. Now let me tell you something. This case isn't going to go away. Congress isn't going to go away. We want answers to this. We want to know what happened. "

April 30, 1997: During Judiciary Committee hearings, senator Hatch questions Attorney General Janet Reno about Trentadue's death. Hatch informs Reno that:

"[I]t is apparent to me that not only are the facts suspicious, it looks like someone in the Bureau of Prisons or someone having relations with the Bureau of Prisons has murdered the man."

October 10, 1997: Senator Hatch issues a press release announcing his intention to:

"...hold an oversight hearing later this year to examine the facts surrounding the death of the Mr. Trentadue and the Department's handling of the matter to date."

December 4, 1997: The FBI hurriedly schedules a meeting with Senator Don Nickels to discuss Trentadue's case. In a communique to FBI Headquarters reporting the results of that meeting at which Agent Linn was in attendance, the agent in charge of the FBI Office states: "Senator Nickels advised that it would be his decision whether a Senate inquiry into this matter would be conducted... [and that] he was not inclined to initiate such a review."

January 17, 1998: The Fox National News Channel does a story on Trentadue's death. Senator Hatch is interviewed for that program and says that he is "disappointed in the Grand Jury result," and because this case has the "aroma of cover-up" Hatch promises Judiciary Committee hearings. Hatch also tells the Fox National News people that "somebody other than Trentadue beat Trentadue up."
Note: The tape of Senator Hatch's interview can be heard under the "Trentadue" section at the following website: http://www.thepacc.org.

January 23, 1998: The FBI (including Agent Linn) meets again with Senator Don Nickles of Oklahoma. The purpose of that meeting is to remind Senator Nickles of his commitment to no oversight of the FBI by the Senate Judiciary Committee with respect to the FBI's handling of Trentadue's case. According to the communique sent FBI Headquarters of that meeting, Senator Nickles assured the FBI:

"That he had a significant role in determining whether this matter would require Congressional review, and that such action would most likely not be necessary."

Despite giving that assurance, however, Senator Nickles was obviously troubled because he had several questions for the FBI representatives present. Nickles, for example, wanted to know if it was in fact true that evidence had been lost in Trentadue's case, especially photographic evidence. The agents tell Senator Nickles that there has been no mishandling or loss of evidence, especially photographic evidence because,

"the Government has possessed and utilized [that photographic evidence] throughout this investigation."

That statement was obviously not true. Similarly not true, were the FBI representatives' response to Senator Nickles' question about whether there was any truth to the "criticism of the FBI, BOP, and DOJ regarding their handling of this case" which was appearing in the press. Again, the FBI agents assure Senator Nickles that there is no basis for that criticism. Senator Nickles is told this by the FBI despite the fact that there had been widespread discussions within the FBI "regarding potential perjury by the FBI Agent in Oklahoma City," as well as "BOP personnel's alleged mishandling of the corpse and the potential crime scene in the aftermath of Trentadue's death."

May 18, 2001: Senator Orrin Hatch is contacted by the media and questioned about the perjury, subordination of perjury and other acts of obstruction of justice committed by DOJ employees in the Trentadue case. Hatch's office issues a statement saying that "federal employees are to be completely truthful when they testify or they are interviewed by investigators." Hatch's office goes on to say that "the Senator will pursue this matter in some way to insure that this type of conduct does not happen again" and promised that "something will be done."

June 20,2001: Inspector General Glenn A. Fine appears before senator Hatch and the Senate Judiciary Committee. Fine touts the "Death of Kenneth Trentadue" as a example of the "OIG[‘s] OVERSIGHT OF FBI PROGRAMS." Fine tells Senator Hatch that the OIG's investigation of the Trentadue case discovered,

"deficiencies in the FBI's investigation... particularly its mishandling and misplacing of several important pieces of evidence...."

Fine says nothing about the intentional destruction of evidence or other acts of obstruction of justice and perjury documented in the sealed OIG Report.

July 23, 2003: Senator Hatch raises the death of Kenneth Trentadue with FBI Director Robert Mueller at the conclusion of a Judiciary Committee over sight hearing on the FBI. Hatch tells Director Mueller that:

"I want to follow up on an important issue that I am personally interested in and I think it's important for the FBI to answer and that issue is the death of Kenneth Trentadue."

Senator Hatch goes on to say:

"Mr. Trentadue's family continues to raise questions that to me are indeed troubling." The Senator then presented Director Mueller with written questions related to Trentadue's death and asked the FBI to answer them.

[Final information on Hatch and others backing off.]

Back to Topics

Conclusion: You Can Help

State AG's Office Attacks Cover-up

March 12, 1998: The DOJ's harassment and threats to the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner and his staff reach the point that the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office intervenes. On this date, Assistant Attorney General Patrick Crawley writes to DOJ attorneys stating:

"In the investigation into the death of Kenneth Trentadue, all the rules seem to have been set aside. In a sort of ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass' set of circumstances, the truth has been obfuscated by the agendas of various federal agencies (mostly your clients)....

In the process, your clients prevented the Medical Examiner from conducting a thorough and complete investigation into the death, destroyed evidence, and otherwise harassed and harangued Dr. Jordan and his staff. The absurdity of this situation is that your clients outwardly represent law enforcement or at least some arm of licit government...

The real tragedy in this case appears to be the perversion of law through chicanery and the misuse of public trust under the guise of some aberrant form of federalism. In the succession of either illegal, negligent or just plain stupid acts, your clients succeeded in derailing the Medical Examiner's examination and, thereby, may have obstructed justice in this case....

[I]t appears that your clients, and perhaps others within the DOJ, have been abusing the powers of their respective offices. If this is true, all Americans should be very frightened of your clients and the DOJ."

Back to Topics

Trentadue Family Awarded $1.1 Million

December 15, 2000. The jury returns a verdict against Stuart A. Lee for having violated Trentadue's civil rights under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The case against the United States for assault, battery, conspiracy, spoliation and infliction of emotional distress was taken under advisement.

January 12, 2001. The Court enters a Judgment against former BOP employee Stuart A. Lee for having violated Trentadue's civil rights. A similar ruling is expected from the Court with respect to the assault, battery and conspiracy claims against the DOJ. Altogether, the DOJ expended in excess of $5 million fighting the Trentadue family's lawsuit.

May 1, 2001. The Court enters a judgment against the DOJ and in favor of Trentadue's family in the amount of $1.1 million. The judgment was for the intentional infliction of emotional distress upon Trentadue's family by the DOJ. Because of perjury and destruction of evidence, however, the Court was unable to find that Trentadue's death was a homicide. But in that judgment, the District Court gave a scathing criticism about several DOJ employees who testified at trial:

The testimony of PA Mier, Lt. Freeman and BOP Guard Robert Garza raise serious questions as to their truthfulness and reveal a lack of respect for the solemnity of sworn proceedings. From the time of Trentadue's death up to and including the trial, these witnesses seemed unable to comprehend the importance of a truthful answer.

The Court's assessment of Mier, Freeman and Garza's testimony was entirely accurate. Yet that same assessment could have been made with respect to the testimony of numerous other DOJ employees, such as Roger T. Groover. At trial, Groover admitted that although he had testified under oath before the federal Grand Jury, the Office of the Inspector General and the BOP that he saw and videotaped Trentadue hanging in Cell A-709. These statements were not true. Groover confessed that "he did not see Trentadue hanging" and that he "did not videotape Trentadue hanging."

Back to Topics


What You Can Do


Accountability Utah recipe: Take our information and opinion, research their information and opinion (if it is available), and then examine the law and draw your own conclusions.  If you have comments or suggestions, please email us at info@accountabilityutah.org.

For more information on this illegal aliens, see the Illegal Aliens section of our Issues & Alerts page.

Home | Issues & Alerts | Mission | AU Team | Reports | Citizen Library | Other Resources

Address: P.O. Box 141, West Jordan, Utah 84084
info@accountabilityutah.org  |  Website: www.accountabilityutah.org

Copyright © 2005 Accountability Utah