Fighting for the truth . . . exposing the corrupt
EXPERT BLASTS FAULTY MEDICAL
EXAMINER’S REPORT ON DEATH OF COL.
SHUE – “SUICIDE” FINDING NOT BACKED
UP BY FACTS – TEXAS D.A. & AIR FORCE
BRASS “DESPERATE TO MAKE THIS CASE
GO AWAY” SAYS INSIDE SOURCE
WIFE WON’T BE INTIMIDATED
© 2003 – MilitaryCorruption.com
The famed poet Sir Walter Scott once wrote: “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”
Like a house of cards falling down, the ludicrous claim by the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office that Air Force Col. Philip Shue intentionally killed himself April 16th in a high-speed auto crash (after being horrifically tortured with a knife and one digit of a finger severed and missing) is being met with disbelief by all but the most gullible observers.
Fortunately for the colonel’s widow, Tracy Shue, a grand jury panel in Kendall County, Texas – the scene of the mysterious death – refused to roll over for arrogant District Attorney Bruce Curry, and he will have to wait for another chance, late this month when the grand jury reconvenes, to see if he can sell his particular kettle of fish.
Curry, who speaks to friendly reporters who parrot the party line, but avoids and fears MilitaryCorruption.com, is understandably nervous. What looked to be a “routine” determination that Shue committed “suicide,” – the favorite word of lazy and incompetent Air Force OSI (Office of Special Investigations) agents – seems dangerously elusive since the colonel’s widow has proven troublesome with her pointed questions about “what really happened.”
QUESTIONS THAT DEMAND ANSWERS
Some widows would just take the SGLI (Serviceman’s Group Life Insurance) pay out, cash in any other policies, and go away. Not Tracy Shue. She believes her husband was, at the very least, “abducted on his way to work” at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, brutally tortured, and then died in a desperate attempt to drive back home, where he feared his wife was in mortal danger. The autopsy report acknowledged both his nipples had been cut out, the last digit of the little finger of his left hand severed, and a nearly six-inch long gash carved in his chest.
Shue had been the recipient of a series of threatening anonymous notes stating that the colonel would be killed so his ex-wife could cash in two $500,000 life insurance policies she held on her former spouse.
MilitaryCorruption.com emphasizes there is no proof at this time that there is any connection between the notes and the ex-wife, but the million dollars in life insurance policies is a documented fact.
“My husband had every reason to want to live,” Tracy Shue said. “We were happily married for 10 years and planning to move into our new home in Alabama once Philip retired from the Air Force,” the colonel’s widow told our reporter. “My husband, other than being naturally concerned about the notes, was a very stable man. Anyone who knows him would realize the claims of suicide are absolutely absurd.”
Tracy Shue, herself a retired Air Force officer, wants to know why there was significant traumatic injuries to the right side of her husband’s head, when it was the driver’s side door on the left that impacted with the trees. She “wonders out loud” where the missing nipples and finger joint are, if her husband is supposed to have tortured himself prior to the crash. Mrs. Shue has hired the nation’s leading forensic pathologist, Dr. Cyril Wecht of Pittsburgh, to do a second autopsy. She cites many mistakes and incredible lapses in the local medical examiner’s report.
“They try to make out he killed himself because driving back, he failed to call me on the cell phone he had with him. How could he use a cell phone while bleeding profusely, in incredible pain, and likely fighting to stay conscious to keep the car on the road?
“The report contends my husband deliberately drove his car at high speed off the main highway and into a clump of trees. What he was really doing was turning off I-10 and heading up the access road that leads to our home a short distance away. Since when did the medical examiner’s office have the ability to read minds and know Philip was intending ‘suicide’ in the last moments before his death.”
AN EXPERT DEMOLISHES THE AUTOPSY REPORT
Dr. Nancy J. Haley of Armonk, New York, an expert in pathological biology and biochemistry, was asked by Shue family members to review (with no financial compensation given or promised) the medical examiner’s autopsy report.
Currently medical director for a major insurance company, Dr. Haley conducts research on toxicology for several universities and medical schools. Her duties include reviewing autopsy reports. She is well qualified to be consulted in this case.
Results from Dr. Cyril Wecht’s autopsy on Col. Shue’s remains won’t be ready for several weeks, so it was deemed important to have Dr. Haley’s take on the report now, while waiting for the conclusive examination to be completed later.
What Dr. Haley found was very disturbing.
“I am incredulous that the medical examiner’s report could claim that Col. Shue killed himself in the absence of any possible intervention by persons unknown.
“It is a matter of great concern to me that the unsubstantiated conclusions of this report were based on the so-called evidence presented. I’m amazed at the amount of possible credible evidence that was available but not collected by the medical examiner. Why not?
Dr. Haley pointed out the report says blood was smeared on duct tape found wrapped around Col. Shue’s wrists.
“Why wasn’t a DNA test done on that blood to determine if it belonged to anyone else whom might have been present?” she asked.
Dr. Haley also was appalled that apparently no test was done to determine the source of two gray hairs found stuck to duct tape wound around the top of the colonel’s combat boots. He was wearing his fatigue uniform – BDU’s – on his way to work.
“The report says blood was found under the fingernails of the deceased, but no mention is made whether or not any DNA tests were conducted to see if that blood matched Col. Shue or someone else! The presence of blood from any other individual would strongly indicate that the deceased was a victim of violence and trauma, not suicide.”
Haley rebuked contentions by the medical examiner that Col. Shue might have anesthetized himself from pain by rubbing Lidocaine lotion on his chest.
“The relatively high concentration of that drug found in the bloodstream could have been caused by the ointment getting into an open wound, such as the nearly six inch long incision in his chest,” she said.
According to Shue’s wife, the colonel had used the cream the day before his death to combat itching due to parts of his hairy chest being shaven for an Air Force administered stress test. An area clear of hair needed to be prepared for positioning the various prongs of the medical machine used.
"Why would anyone want to have a cardiac work-up done to ensure good health if they were planning the following day to commit suicide? It makes no sense!"
THE M.E.’S OFFICE CONCOCTS AN IMPROBABLE THEORY
“Col. Philip Shue died as the result of massive cranial cerebral injuries that resulted from a major motor vehicle accident. However,” Dr. Haley continued, “other findings of trauma on his body are not consistent with the cause of death. And in fact, it suggests that the loss of control of his vehicle (on the access road turn off) may have resulted from a situation that occurred in the preceding hours.
“The medical examiner contends Col. Shue intentionally drove off the road into one tree, then another, to kill himself. Such rapid-fire mental actions and physical reactions would be astounding, if intentional.
“They more likely suggest that the person driving was in pain, in fear of his life, or not able to control the vehicle due to is bodily injuries.
“It is not known if the colonel was even conscious at the time the vehicle left the road. The written report is so biased as to exclude all possibilities except super-human control of a car to create such a traumatic end.”
We are reluctant to criticize another news organization or publication. After all, anyone can make mistakes, even in a business as unforgiving of sloppy reporting and omitted or obscured facts as the Fourth Estate.
But, the San Antonio EXPRESS-NEWS made the supermarket tabloids look respectable on Friday, August 1, when they ran the screaming headline: DUCT TAPE DRIVER’S DEATH WAS SUICIDE. Spread over five columns on the front page, the lack of quotation marks around the word SUICIDE seemed to declare to the readers that Col. Philip Shue had killed himself and therefore there was nothing more to see, let’s just move right along, folks.
Wait just a minute, not so FAST!!!!!
The word “suicide” came from the flawed medical examiner’s report. The very least the only daily newspaper left in San Antonio could do was adhere to basic journalistic standards and avoid creating a false impression. Put quotation marks around that inflammatory word SUICIDE until such time as it is indeed a proven fact. As of now, “suicide” has NOT been proven. It has only been supposed.
We know the headline was not written by the reporter who wrote the story. But there was plenty to find wrong with the article itself.
First of all, it took three tries before the reporter got Col. Shue’s rank correct. He referred to the dead officer as “Lt. Col.” Shue in the first two mentions, including the all-important lead. Perhaps his head was muddled with the fact that Col. Shue’s wife, Tracy, is a retired lieutenant colonel. Whatever. Poor writing and editing let that mistake get through.
One brief mention of “incised nipples” – that means “cut out” in plain English, folks – was about all the reader learned about that torture on Col. Shue’s body. No mention whatsoever of the vital sliced off finger joint or the fact that it was missing! Didn’t the reporter read the autopsy report carefully? Or was he too intent on making sure his story supported the “official version” of events? Nothing to be gained in weakening that contention by relating pesky facts that might fly in the face of a fantasy.
“PANIC TIME” AMONG THE POWERFUL
A retired Air Force officer who knows Bruce Curry well, and is one of our best CI’s (confidential informants) in the San Antonio area, tells us both the district attorney and his “Air Force buddies” among the brass at Lackland AFB are “desperate to make this case go away.”
He says the potential for bad publicity and even criminal prosecution is not remote.
“They (the Air Force and OSI) know if they fail to sell the suicide theory, they will have to launch a real investigation and come up with the people who snatched Shue and tortured him. That will cost time, money and open up certain individuals to lawsuits. What would the voters or the bar association think if it was proven the DA tried to take the easy way out, obstructing justice in the process?”
MilitaryCorruption.com does not contend Curry is acting in an unethical manner. We would like to think he is simply deluded and honestly mistaken in his zealous attempt to paint the Shue death as a “suicide” and nothing more.
But a conversation we had with Mrs. Shue, telling us her views of the hard-charging DA’s tactics, are cause for concern.
“I was in shock after the news of Philip’s death, and I had no reason to be suspicious of Mr. Curry’s motives or agenda,” she said. “During that time, I remember Curry telling me not to ‘waste’ my money on a second autopsy because, according to him, the result would ‘probably be the same’ as the medical examiner’s.
“I didn’t know it then, that he already was aware of the ‘suicide’ contention in the autopsy report. He knew that I didn’t know that then, and he tried to lead me down a primrose path to inaction so I wouldn’t seek a second opinion. I consider that deceitful conduct by the district attorney and I wonder what kind of law enforcement officer he really is.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: READERS IN THE
SAN ANTONIO AREA WHO HAVE ANY INFORMATION REGARDING THE BEXAR COUNTY MEDICAL
EXAMINER’S OFFICE; DISTRICT ATTORNEY BRUCE CURRY; OR THE LACKLAND AFB
OFFICE OF SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS THAT YOU FEEL MIGHT BE USEFUL IN OUR INVESTIGATION
OF THIS CASE, PLEASE CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY. YOUR IDENTITY WILL BE KEPT STRICTLY