Sunday, June 23, 2002

The Cliff Baxter 'suicide' sham continues. Now the Sugar Land Police Department has concluded that it is certain that Baxter's death was a suicide. This conclusion is silly on its face (I also have to wonder if Sugar Land was a place where a lot of high Enron executives lived, executives who could put political pressure on local police, and note without comment that Sugar Land is the home of Tom DeLay). I've written about this before, but as it is so outrageous, I have to do so again:

  1. Baxter was so high up in Enron that he would have been aware of every single major problem in Enron's operations. In particular, he would have had detailed knowledge of all the connections of Enron to the Bush Administration. He resigned before the problems became apparent because he disagreed with the illegal and immoral policies of company management. He was a man who got out of Enron on principle. He therefore had no fear of punishment as a result of the revelations in any testimony he might give. He was in a completely unique position, and at the time of his death was the most politically dangerous man in the United States. His testimony, by showing the depths of criminality of the executives of Enron coupled with the obscenely close relationship between Enron executives and the Bush Administration, could have completely destroyed the Bush Administration and permanently damaged the current American mantra that completely unregulated corporate greed is a good thing. Although he left before the Enron bankruptcy, he probably could have provided information regarding the odd relationship between the Bush Administration and the Taliban as the Bush Administration hurried to coerce the Taliban into allowing the pipeline to go through in time to keep Enron afloat.

  2. Baxter was safely out of Enron, filthy rich, living in a mansion with his family, and awaiting the delivery of a new yacht.

  3. Baxter stated in the days before his death that he felt he needed to hire a bodyguard, and that he felt agitated about harassment he felt he was receiving.

  4. The new revelation that local police find so important is that when Baxter left his house the morning of his 'suicide', he put pillows under his bed covers so that it would appear that he was still in bed. This is somehow supposed to prove that he intended to commit suicide, but of course it proves the opposite. The reason you put pillows under the bed covers is so you can sneak out and come back without anyone knowing you've been away.

  5. Baxter's supposed suicide note makes no sense. It is addressed to his wife but shows no emotion. It is like a generic form of suicide note (and what's up with the wife trying to keep the contents of the note from the public when it contains nothing that would require any privacy?). It is printed in block letters (when he was in the habit of writing in longhand), including the signature, and the printing shows no emotion. Apparently, his fingerprints aren't on the note. It was left in his wife's car. Although he is supposed to have killed himself due to worries over the Enron situation, it makes no mention of Enron.

  6. Baxter is said to have been very heavily sedated with sleeping pills at the time of his death. In fact he was probably so heavily drugged that it would have been very easy for anyone to get him to do anything. He could not have put up a fight if he were attacked.

  7. Baxter was apparently not killed with rat shot, as originally reported, but with Glaser ammunition. Blood spatter tests prove that no one was in the passenger side of the vehicle when he was shot, but of course can't prove that he wasn't shot from outside the vehicle. If he was shot in the right side of the head, the shot could have come from outside the vehicle in through the open passenger's-side window. The police story is now that an officer saw Baxter driving down the street (i.e., he could identify that it was Baxter driving at around 2:30 a. m.!) a convenient three minutes before he found Baxter's body in the parked car, but this seems not to be the original police story which was that the officer saw the vehicle parked and investigated it 15 minutes later when he saw it parked in the same place.

What do we make of all this? The police work was sloppy (including not bagging the hands, which puts in question the results of the tests which the police say show Baxter shot himself with his right hand), perhaps intentionally, and the Houston County Medical Examiner who conducted the autopsy and determined in a big hurry that it was a suicide has a 'history' (and there was nearly no autopsy at all due to the unusual reluctance of the Sugar Land police to have an autopsy conducted), but we still have quite a few facts to work with. Here's a possible scenario. Baxter gets a phone call from someone who wanted to talk about the Enron situation. He knows the caller and doesn't trust him, but decides to go anyway. The caller has him bring some letterhead with him on some excuse. Baxter doesn't want to alarm his wife so he doesn't tell her, and he puts the pillows under the bed covers so she won't even know he has been out. He is nervous about the person he is to meet, so he takes his gun, and takes a lot of sedatives. He drives to the meeting place. The person he was to meet comes up to the passenger-side window of his vehicle and threatens him with a gun to hand over the letterhead and Baxter's gun. Due to the sedatives, Baxter is in no position to put up a fight. The assassin shoots Baxter using Baxter's gun, wipes it clean of fingerprints, and places it in the vehicle on Baxter's lap. He prints the 'suicide' note using block letters so he doesn't have to forge Baxter's handwriting, leaves it in Baxter's wife's car, and disappears (he forced Baxter to lick the envelope before he died or obtained saliva after he died to smear on the envelope which would account for the fact that Baxter's DNA was on the envelope). Nothing in this scenario is inconsistent with the work of a professional assassin.