D.C. Police Blackout Silence On Seth Rich Murder – No Arrests – No Comment – No Requests For Public Assistance

The Washington, D.C. Metro Police investigation into last July’s unsolved murder of Democrat National Committee official Seth Rich  remains shrouded in darkness and silence.  The cops are playing this one very close to the vest.   From my standpoint as a retired Colorado peace officer with more than 20 years in the business, they’re playing it too close to the vest.  It looks to me like they need some help and they’re not asking for it.  Why is that?

The as-yet unsuccessful protracted investigation to find and arrest whoever killed this young man has now drawn a lawsuit from a group called The Profiling ProjectThe Daily Caller recently published some information on the new litigation, which is purportedly driven by purely altruistic motives.

I don’t believe there is much of anything altruistic about either the lawsuit or the murder investigation.  The entire case reeks of the stench of big-time partisan politics.  From the Daily Caller Report:

An independent group investigating the July 2016 murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich is suing the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser for information connected to the murder investigation.

The Profiling Project filed the lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court Wednesday morning, asserting that MPD has mismanaged the murder investigation. The group said that MPD’s stonewalling is unjustified.

“The release of this crucial material will help bring peace to the victim’s family, and it will help to either confirm or refute the various theories that swirl about this important murder case,” Washington, D.C. lobbyist and attorney Jack Burkman, who is leading The Profiling Project, asserted in court documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation (TheDCNF)…

His sympathetic rhetoric aside, I suspect that Mr. Burkman has motivations other than assuaging the grieving family.  I also suspect that the Metro Police Department has done far less than it could have done by this point to solve the case.

The usual method of dealing with the mainstream press corps (which in the Seth Rich case is lethargic, comatose, or M.I.A.) is for the police to withhold a great deal of detailed information.  No detective or police chief wants his murder investigation compromised and the jury pool contaminated by a lot of speculative, inaccurate pre-trial publicity.

Ergo, the generic public statement from the police spokesman usually goes like this:

The case is still open and therefore under investigation.   No further comment will be made so as not to compromise either the solving of the crime or the prosecution of the killer after his arrest. 

That is the standard police announcement in an unsolved crime.  However, that rhetorical announcement can also be a very safe place to hunker down if the police really don’t want to solve the murder.  And I don’t know if the D.C. cops really want to solve this one.  I’ll tell you a little more about that further down the page.

The unanswered question in any homicide, of course, is, “Who killed the victim?”

In the Seth Rich case, a closure of the investigation by an arrest could (and probably would) open a door to a whole lot of ugly, politically charged questions about why Rich was killed.  Once the killer(s) is identified, a complete background investigation would be done, to establish any ties between the killer and his victim – or between the killer and whoever may have put him up to committing the murder.

Motive is often the least important issue for the cops in solving in a crime.  But, let’s not forget, Wikileaks is lurking in the background.  Now there’s some political dynamite.  Speaking of which, what reason could Julian Assange possibly have at this point to be coy and evasive about the straightforward question put to him during a televised interview:

Was Seth Rich a Wikileaks source for the infamous DNC leakage during the 2016 presidential campaign?

If Seth Rich was indeed a Wikileaks informant, there’s absolutely no need at this point for Assange to protect a dead source.  Contrary to what the YouTube video title would have us believe, the Wikileaks honcho did not give a straight-forward answer to the question.  He talked in generalities about protecting sources.  I have a real problem with Julian Assange’s refusal to just spell out the truth.

Back to the D.C. Police investigation.  We don’t know anything yet about who did the killing – or why.

To this point the D.C. Police are pretty much saying nothing.  That doesn’t particularly trouble me.  According to the Daily Caller’s report the cops did say this much:

…MPD surmised that Rich was a victim of a botched robbery (robberies and unsolved acts of violence make up the lion’s share of released MPD videos). Police said that they found his wallet, credit cards and cellphone on his body. The band of his wristwatch was torn but not broken. The current theory maintains that the shooters panicked after shooting Rich and immediately fled the scene…

Here is where this all stands:

  1. Rich was murdered on a Washington, D.C. street.
  2. Nearly one year later, no one is in custody and charged with the killing.
  3. Contrary to common police practice in the process of identifying a suspect, the Washington D.C. Police Department has not solicited assistance from the populace by publicizing surveillance video footage or surveillance photographs either of “persons of interest” or of a “vehicle of interest”.

Item number 3 is the most troubling to me.  We live in George Orwell’s world.  There are video surveillance cameras everywhere.  How could there not have been any photographic images of Seth Rich on the night of his murder?  To suppose there was no such surveillance imagery available to the police is beyond imagination.  In this day and age, it’s just not possible there were no video images of Rich captured prior to, and perhaps during, his murder, especially in a place like Washington, D.C.

So, the question is:

Did the police retrace Rich’s steps on the night of his murder and collect all of the available video footage from every location he visited?  We don’t know.  The cops are silent.

If the answer to that question is “NO”, that tells me that the police really didn’t want to solve the crime.

If the answer to that question is “YES”, that tells me that the police still don’t want to solve the crime.

If the cops really wanted to find out who committed this murder, and they’re stumped, at some point they should have published whatever surveillance videos they collected and asked the public for help in identifying any and all of the people with whom Rich was shown to be in contact on the videos.

The problem is that the police aren’t saying anything.  Nothing.  We don’t know what information they have.  We don’t know what they collected.  We don’t know anything about what the cops did to solve Seth Rich’s murder.

Now,  I understand from my career in law enforcement that a lot of information about gathered evidence is routinely withheld from the press until it’s introduced at trial, for obvious reasons.  It’s not the press corps’ job to try the murder case via public opinion.  That is supposed to happen inside a Court of Law.

However, we do know what the police haven’t done.  They haven’t asked the public for any assistance with identifying a suspect or a suspect vehicle from images which were captured on surveillance videos.

About John L. Work

John Lloyd Work has taken the detective thriller genre and woven an occasional political thread throughout his books, morphing what was once considered an arena reserved for pure fiction into believable, terrifying, futuristic, true-to-life “faction”. He traveled the uniformed patrolman’s path, answering brutal domestic violence calls, high speed chases, homicides, suicides, armed robberies, breaking up bar fights, and the accompanying sporadic unpredictable moments of terror - which eventually come to all police officers, sometimes when least expected. He gradually absorbed the hard fact that the greatest danger a cop faces comes in the form of day-to-day encounters with emotionally disturbed, highly intoxicated people. Those experiences can wear a cop down, grinding on his own emotions and psyche. Prolonged exposure to the worst of people and people at their worst can soon make him believe that the world is a sewer. That police officer’s reality is a common thread throughout Work’s crime fiction books. Following his graduation from high school, Work studied music and became a professional performer, conductor and teacher. Life made a sudden, unexpected turn when, one afternoon in 1976, his cousin, who eventually became the Chief of the Ontario, California, Police Department, talked him into riding along during a patrol shift. The musician was hooked into becoming a police officer. After working for two years as a reserve officer in Southern California and in Boulder, Colorado, he joined the Longmont, Colorado Police Department. Work served there for seven years, investigating crimes as a patrolman, detective and patrol sergeant. In 1989 he joined the Adams County, Colorado Sheriff’s Office, where he soon learned that locking a criminal up inside a jail or prison does not put him out of business. As a sheriff’s detective he investigated hundreds of crimes, including eleven contract murder conspiracies which originated “inside the walls”. While serving on the Adams County North Metro Gang Task Force and as a member of the Colorado Security Threat Intelligence Network Group (STING), Work designed a seminar on how a criminal’s mind formulates his victim selection strategy. Over a period of six years he taught that class in sheriff’s academies and colleges throughout Colorado. He saw the world of crime both inside the walls and out on the streets. His final experiences in the criminal law field were with the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office, where for nearly two years he investigated felonies from the defense side of the Courtroom. Twenty-two years of observing human nature at its worst, combined with watching some profound changes in America’s culture and political institutions, provided plenty of material for his first three books. A self-published author, he just finished writing his tenth thriller.
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