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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

FBI Showed Joel Hinrichs' Father Photos of "Headless Body" but Eyewitness Said Only "Bottom Half of a Man" Left After OU Bomber Exploded

Michelle Malkin performed a signal public service in going through the laborious process to obtain the FBI's search warrant in the OU Suicide Bomber case and all of the supporting documentation. She has spent a great deal of time to going through the documents. Michelle Generation Why's Jason Smith is also going through the documents.

After going through the materials, Malkin concludes there isn't much of interest there, though she describes a number of potentially key elements that aren't included in the documents made public in connection with the search warrant:

"None of the hundreds of e-mails in Hinrichs' Yahoo.com account accessed by the FBI/JTTF are included in the release. Nor are the names or URLs of any of the websites he visited from his home computer or any of the nine campus computers searched by the FBI/JTTF.
"The last line of Hinrichs' suicide message is reported, but not the rest of the text document.
"So, was he simply a troubled soul, a freelance Islamist bent on mass murder at the OU football stadium, or something else? The unsealed papers neither prove nor disprove any of these theories."

Meanwhile, CBS News blogger Vaugh Ververs is taunting bloggers with a post headlined: "Hey, bloggers, it' s okay to correct the record." Since Ververs appears confident there is nothing left to wonder about in this case, he must have answers to questions I believe are raised by the FBI search warrant documents, beginning with this:

Joel Hinrichs father told The Daily Oklahoman that on Oct. 15 when he was informed by investigators 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.)

But in the search warrant documents unsealed last week, we find this statement from 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.

When 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 photo of a "headless body" with a witness's description of seeing "the bottom half of the man" an instant after the detonation.

I have additional questions, but in the meantime I look forward to hearing Vaughan Ververs and the FBI's explanation for how a headless torse could be confused with a body without a torso.