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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Would You Confuse a Headless Body With The Bottom Half of a Man?

If the question posed by the title of this post seems a little macabre, it nevertheless must be asked, thanks to either the FBI or Joel Hinrichs, Sr., father of the University of Oklahoma student who blew himself up just outside the school's football stadium during the OU-Kansas State game Oct. 1.

Here's why:

Hinrichs Sr. told The Sunday Oklahoman that, when he was informed by investigators Oct. 15 of an alleged suicide note left by his son, the FBI also showed him "photos of his son's headless body." (I can't provide a link to the Oct. 16 article because it is only available via a paid search of the paper's digital archives.) Hinrichs Sr. said he plans to cremate his sons remains when they are finally turned over to him by federal authorities.

But in the FBI's search warrant documents unsealed last week by a federal judge, we find a completely different description of the condition of Hinrichs' body following the explosion that killed him while sitting on a bench during the second quarter of the game.

In those documents, FBI investigator Jennifer Baker described what she was told by eyewitness Donald Wayne Laughlin who walked past Hinrichs a few seconds before the bomb attached to his body detonated.

An instant after the bomb detonated, Laughlin looked back at the bench where he had just walked past Hinrichs. According to Baker, "Laughlin saw what appeared to be the bottom half of the man that had been sitting on the bench."

There simply is no confusing a "headless body" with "the bottom half of the man," so which one was Joel Hinrichs' remains?

Michelle Malkin, who went to great lengths to get copies of the search warrant and its support documentation when they were unsealed by a federal judge Nov. 18, thinks the documents need more examination.

I agree, and am especially curious why the FBI provided no copies of the literature they found in Hinrichs' apartment. I would also like to know much more about what was in Hinrichs email files and what kind of files were found on the hard drivers on his computers.

Meanwhile, I am still waiting for a response from CBS News blogger Vaughn Ververs, who ran this taunting post headlined: "Hey, bloggers, it' s okay to correct the record." Earlier this week, I emailed Ververs asking him how he would explain the obvious discontinuity in descriptions of Hinrichs' remains.

How about it, Vaughn?

I also look forward to hearing the FBI explain how somebody could mistake the bottom half of a man with a headless torso.