THE STRANGE DEATH OF
It was the controversial DiMaio who blew off the disturbing death of Air Force Col. Philip Shue in 2003 as a "suicide" when a preponderance of evidence clearly proved otherwise.
An independent autopsy, conducted by famed forensic patholigist Dr. Cyril Wecht, found that the colonel's demise "cannot be simply labeled a suicide. It is more likely that another person or persons played a role in his death."
MILITARYCORRUPTION.COM is closing in who was responsible for Shue's death and why he was tortured and will be reporting our new findings in a matter of days. But in this article, we will discuss the strange death of Gen. Negrete, and why those who knew him best dispute DiMaio's "suicide" mantra.
A BOTCHED-UP INVESTIGATION AND UNLIKELY SCENARIO
Around 10:30 pm, Sept. 16, 2005 police received a 911 call from the San Antonio home of Bernardo and Victoria Negrete. There had been a "shooting" and the general was sprawled on his bedroom floor, dead.
Since the San Antonio Police refused our request for information, or even a copy of the police report, we are indebted to a first-rate reporter, Maro Robbins, of the San Antonio EXPRESS-NEWS, for his excellent and lengthy piece on the mystery death which ran in that newspaper Oct.2. What Robbins reported was very revealing. What he said "between the lines" was even more interesting.
We regret that that news story, to date, is the only real coverage of what happened to the highly-respected general who we feel was a very unlikely candidate for self-destruction. So do his close friends, military associates, and first wife of more than 30 years. We'll get to that later on in this investigative article.
As Robbins wrote, the police report said Victoria Negrete told officers that she and her grown daughter Alexis came home that night to an "intoxicated" husband.
Victoria claims she went to bed with her hubby where he supposedly became "sexually rough - pinching and spanking." One would almost think these were the words of "Rebecca from Sunnybrook Farm" instead of the aging but still attractive wife of at least four men, Negrete being her latest husband of little more than a year. "Vicki," 49, the high-powered head of The Cartel Group - a successful advertising firm whose clients include the U.S. Army - is reportedly the daughter of controversial oil tycoon, the late Armand Hammer. Her mother was his mistress.
Anyway, according to Mrs. Negrete, her hubby at one point fetched a gun from underneath their bed and tried to put it between her legs.
The next part of the police report shows where the San Antonio cops were remiss in not taking the new widow down to headquarters and doing a thorough interrogation.
"Vicki" claims that she and hubby argued and he - Gen. Negrete - "tried to leave the room." She then claims she "locked the door (preventing him from departing the scene of the dispute) and put the gun back under the bed."
Hello? Is something very wrong here? Who in their right mind, after their husband supposedly tries to put a loaded gun between their legs is going to prevent him from leaving, especially when he's supposedly soused and dangerous. To "lock" him inside the bedroom and then put the gun back under the bed where it can be retrieved again is sheer insanity and very unlikely.
Right there, a rookie cop from the Podunk Police Dept. would have said: "Wait a minute, lady. This story just doesn't add up! You're coming downtown where we're going to talk." But instead, Victoria declined to make an official statement because she was so "distraught" and so her daughter, Alexis, who wasn't even in the room at the time of the shooting, gave her limited account of what happened to the Keystone Cops.
Again, from the police report, Vicki says the arguement continued - after she locks Negrete in the bedroom so he can't depart and puts the handgun back under the bed where hubby could easily grab it - and the next thing she knows she "heard" a gunshot and ran out of the room to call police.
The police report states the first 911 call reported "shots fired" in the area. A second call from Victoria claims her husband was "playing" with a gun when it discharged. But if she was lying down in bed and "heard" a shot, how does she know for a fact the highly-disciplined and meticulous-about-guns general would recklessly be "playing" with such a deadly weapon?
TWO HANDGUNS AND TWO SHELL CASINGS FOUND IN BEDROOM
When investigators got to the home, they found two handguns - a 9 mm. Beretta and a .380-caliber Walther, and two separate shell casings! A 9 mm casing lay on the left side of the bed and a .380 casing was found in a nearby waste basket, a San Antonio police spokesman told Robbins.
MILITARYCORRUPTION.COM has been unable to find out whether or not both weapons had been fired and if Gen. Negrete's body bore more than one bullet hole. If it did, it would seem rather unlikely the 54 year-old officer would have inflicted both gunshots on himself.
What we did find out, from a source who claims the cops spoke to him and Lynne Negrete, the general's long-time and still loving first wife, is that the lead detective on the case admitted police were "stretched thin" that night and didn't do a paraffin "gunpowder" test on the dead officer or other family members right after arrival, as is standard procedure.
Why don't the San Antonio Police and the contentious and controversial DiMaio release to the public and news media whether or not two guns were fired that night; how many bullets pierced Negrete's body; why wasn't gunpowder residue tests done immediately on the corpse and family members; and why did investigators meekly take the word of the new widow as to what had really happened?
THREE VERSIONS OF THE GENERAL'S LAST MOMENTS
We have already discussed the improbable scenario of Victoria Negrete "locking" her allegedly menacing hubby inside the bedroom where they had been quarreling and actually putting a loaded handgun back under their bed where it could easily be grabbed again.
You have read where Vicki claims in a call to cops that her fourth husband was "playing " with the handgun when it went off, fatally wounding him.
Now, let's examine several other versions of what happened that make us wonder why the police and DiMaio were so quick to accept whatever they were told as gospel truth and quickly label the shooting death a "suicide." Was it because it's so much easier and convenient doing that instead of actually having to conduct a lengthy and expensive investigation, trying to ascertain what actually happened? We think Gen. Negrete, who served his country faithfully and well in war and peace over a span of many years, deserves better than that.
Reporter Robbins quotes longtime friend and fellow Army officer Mike Tabor as saying Vicki's daughter Alexis had phoned his wife and left a voice mail. The message, made the night of the shooting, claims she heard her mother and stepfather "fighting in the bedroom." Then she heard her mom say: "Don't hurt me anymore." To that, the general allegedly replied, "I'll show you hurt." Then Alexis said she "heard a gunshot."
But two days later, September 18, 2005, Victoria Negrete herself called the Tabors and gave the wife a "milder" account. In that story, Victoria had "rolled over to go to sleep" when she "heard" a gunshot.
Yet a third version emerged at the funeral services. "Some of Bernardo Negrete's relatives had been told by Victoria that the general had been preparing for a hunting and skeet-shooting trip when the weapon went off," Robbins wrote.
The EXPRESS-NEWS reporter zeroed in on the inconsistency. "The entire episode contradicted what friends and relatives thought they knew about the general," he wrote. "His discipline extended, they said, to his personal life. He was even-tempered."
"Even when Bernardo had a few drinks in him," Tabor said, "he was passive."
"His (Negrete's) previous wife, the mother of their 30 year-old son, said the general never mistreated her physically or verbally during 31 years of marriage," Robbins reported.
"He just wasn't abusive - ever," Lynne Negrete told the newsman. "If I had ever been hit or abused, I'd have been out of there. He just never, ever was. I can't say it any stronger than that."
WIDOW HIRES LAWYER TO PROMOTE HER VERSION OF WHAT HAPPENED
The general's widow, Robbins reported, hired an attorney, Charles D. Butts, to "help convince police that her husband shot himself accidentally."
The lawyer was careful not to say anything bad about the popular Negrete, surmising that the general's death was the product of an intoxicated man showing poor judgement with a loaded handgun.
"One might think, 'Well, God almighty, why would anyone with that training and background do that?' Butts said. "Well, y'know, intoxication cloud's one's judgement to say the least."
"That's a crock of bull," Tabor told MILITARYCORRUPTION.COM. "I knew Bernardo since we were lieutenants together in the Army, and he was always very careful around weapons. I think this whole thing is a cover-up."
Tabor also told the EXPRESS-NEWS that the general would never have killed himself. "His son's birthday was the next day, Saturday. He'd never put his family through that. He loved them very much. I don't believe for a moment Bernardo shot himself."
CLEAR UP THE CONTROVERSY - TELL THE WHOLE TRUTH
We at MILITARYCORRUPTION.COM have never been afraid of wealthy widows with battalions of barristers who try to intimidate pesky reporters. And we aren't going to "go away" because the local cops and the loathsome county medical examiner don't want to have their actions opened up to the public.
If "Vicki" Negrete wishes to clear up the controversy, she is welcome to come on these well-read pages and remonstrate as long as she likes. We will not edit her remarks and in fact, welcome them. And we make no accusations of her or anyone else in the mysterious death of her husband. Perhaps the good lady can help us with other matters as well. For instance, would Victoria Negrete like to discuss any connections she may have with not one, but two figures, a male and female, in the equally controversial and disturbing death of Col. Philip Shue?
A very well-informed source tells us: "Break open this case (Gen. Negrete) and you'll find out what really happened to Col. Shue." Pray tell, what does that mean? Can you help us in that regard? Are certain people starting to worry "big time" about what others know and (under pressure) might tell the FBI? Stay tuned.
TO OUR READERS: As successfully worked in the Col Shue case, we again appeal to you, our readers, especially in the San Antonio area, to contact us immediately at email@example.com if you have any information you think we would find useful in investigating the strange death of Gen. Bernardo Negrete. Your identity will be protected