Profiling Project Issues Bombshell Report on Seth Rich Murder Investigation
Findings indicate that it likely wasn't a botched robbery, and that law enforcement may be hindering any independent investigation.
Update: The Profiling Project on Thursday morning filed an emergency petition against the District of Columbia. They are seeking an injunction that would require the Metropolitan Police Department to “preserve, protect and properly organize” all the online information of Seth Rich. The research group notes that several of Rich’s social media accounts including on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit have already been deleted or altered. They assert the information may be critical to determining a motive for Rich’s murder and the “MPD must now be forced by this Court to act swiftly and decisively to preserve evidence.” The Profiling Project also accuses the MPD of unlawfully causing “spoliation of evidence” by failing to preserve Rich’s social media accounts in the first place.
The Profiling Project, an independent, nonpartisan group, has released a lengthy report of its probe into the murder of former DNC staffer Seth Rich. The team, made up of forensic experts and George Washington University graduate students, followed the NYPD’s process for investigating murders.
Wealthy GOP attorney Jack Burkman funded the project. He held a press conference this morning with the team announcing the results thus far. They promised more is to come.
The findings are summarized in the report:
- Seth’s death does not appear to be a random homicide
- Seth’s death does not appear to be a robbery gone bad
- Seth death was more likely committed by a hired killer or serial murderer
- There may be additional video surveillance of the crime and crime scene
- The resolution of prosecuting the individual(s) responsible appears to be hindered both actively and passively
- Seth’s killer(s) most likely remains free within the community
Not a Robbery
“The crime scene was very organized to the point of being sanitized.”
Since Rich’s death last July, the D.C. police department has stated its belief he was the victim of a botched robbery. However, the report lists several reasons the murder likely was not the result of a botched robbery.
First, Rich still had his wallet, watch and other valuables.
Second, it stated, “The crime scene was very organized to the point of being sanitized. This would indicate careful planning on the part of the offender, control of the entry to and exit from the crime scene as well as in-depth understanding of law-enforcement investigative processes.”
The report went on, “With such a sanitized crime scene and no emotional indications, this is not Offenders first kill. … That Offender left a sanitized crime scene is indicative of experience.”
Further, the report notes that Rich’s injuries did not seem to be life threatening when officers arrived. He’d been shot in the back. His father said he was unaware he’d been shot. This strongly suggests there was not a confrontation. The report adds that Rich very likely would not have resisted a robbery.
Supporters of the police’s botched robbery theory often point out that there had been a series of robberies in Rich’s Bloomingdale neighborhood in the days before his murder. However, the report notes, there were seven arrests linked to those armed robberies. Three guns were recovered. None of those guns matched the ballistics in Rich’s murder. None of the suspects has been directly tied to the Rich murder.
The authors conclude, “We do not believe Offender is a robber, nor a robber who killed.”
Not a Typical D.C. Murder
The report stated that the murder was statistically unusual since Rich was white. There were 66 unsolved homicides in D.C. in 2016. Of them, 62 victims were black. Also, a majority of unsolved homicides stem from other criminal activity involving the victim. A drug deal gone bad, for example. There is no evidence to suggest that this is the case here.
This further points away from a run-of-the-mill street crime. However, those hoping the investigation would confirm suspicions about the potential involvement of Rich’s bosses at the DNC, Hillary Clinton or even the Russians were disappointed.
The report briefly dismisses a connection between the murder as retaliation for Rich possibly leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks. Strangely, the report says that evidence needed to establish this would be poison found in Rich’s system, since the killer didn’t ensure his death. There was virtually no other discussion of the topic than this statement.
Questioning the Official Investigation
“The resolution of prosecuting the individual(s) responsible appears to be hindered both actively and passively.”
The report goes into detail about the law enforcement methods used. There is a section on the type of gun that could have been used. But a frequent complaint is that without further information, the probe can’t go much further.
The report hints that D.C. police may be passively impeding their probe. The Profile Project says police were cooperating with their investigation initially, but stopped. They also note that the police have not released any new information on the case since October.
All requests for release of autopsy, ballistics reports, surveillance footage and police body-camera footage have been rejected. D.C. is one of the many jurisdictions that do not routinely release such information during an open investigation.
On May 30, the Profiling Project sued the District of Columbia, demanding police share the information. The suit further alleges the MPD has “mismanaged” the murder investigation. Click here to read the details of the lawsuit.
Response to the Report
The D.C. police issued a statement, saying “we stand by our opinion that it was a botched robbery.” (“Opinion”?)
The family’s spokesman, Brad Bauman, also responded to the report. He said the findings aren’t “new, credible or otherwise lending credence” to theories around Rich’s death. However, this is is contradicted by the report’s rejection of the botched robbery theory that is the official police position.
It is also worth noting that Bauman is a political consultant for the Democratic party and progressive causes. Texas businessman Ed Butowsky, who hired an private investigator to look into the case himself, claims Seth Rich’s father Joe told him “The DNC assigned [Bauman] to us.” Bauman denies being paid by the DNC.
The Profile Project says it had one goal: to provide the Metropolitan Police Department one piece of new evidence that can be used to help solve the crime. That goal has already been met with the discovery of another surveillance camera found near the murder scene that the police apparently did not know about.
As stated, this was an interim report. Founder Jack Burman promises more reports are to come. One area of interest is Seth Rich’s social media activities, which the Profile Project suggests were far more extensive than previously known. Today’s report alone notes that Rich’s Twitter account was deleted and his Facebook and Reddit were edited.
It was hacker Kim DotCom’s claim last month that he had been involved with Rich in getting DNC emails to WikiLeaks that exploded the case back into the public spotlight.
The Profiling Project is not the only entity outside of law enforcement looking into Rich’s murder. Scott Taylor, an investigative news reporter for ABC 7 in Washington, D.C., is conducting his own probe. An army of internet sleuths hope to crowd-source their way to solving the mystery. Also, Bernie Sanders supporters have filed a lawsuit against the DNC over its attempts to manipulate the primary in favor of Hillary Clinton. The suit references Rich.
A report on that lawsuit will be posted in the near future.
Follow Rachel on Twitter at Rach_IC.