Col. James Sabow: Pentagon shooter was obsessed with 1991 case

Pentagon shooter John Patrick Bedell was drawn to the 1991 case of Marine Corps Col. James Sabow. Investigators said the officer committed suicide, but others – including his brother – are sure he was murdered.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP
People walk toward the Pentagon Metro stop Friday, March 5. The station was closed Friday after a shooting incident Thursday night.

Pentagon shooter John Patrick Bedell was drawn to the case of a Marine Corps colonel who was found dead in his back yard in 1991 in a shooting that has intrigued conspiracy theorists for years.

The death of Col. James Sabow at the former El Toro Air Station in California was ruled a suicide in several investigations.

But Col. Sabow’s brother, David, a respected neurologist in South Dakota, has long suspected
that the Marine Corps covered up the murder of James Sabow, pointing to several independent investigations that find holes in the government’s findings.

With singular focus, David Sabow has attempted to reveal what he terms a cover-up, raising legitimate questions about his brother’s death and the government’s attempt to hide the truth. That has been embraced by conspiracy theorists, including Mr. Bedell, who reportedly believed that the facts in the Sabow case must come out, potentially opening the door to confirm other conspiracy theories.

Sabow's death tied to 9/11 conspiracy?

Bedell wanted to “see that justice is served in the death of Colonel James Sabow, as a step toward establishing the truth of events such as the September 11 demolitions and institutions such as the coup regime of 1963 that maintains itself in power through the global drug trade, financial corruption, and murder, among other crimes,” according to a Wikipedia entry linked to Bedell under the name “JPatrickBedell,” CBS News reported.

Reached at his home, David Sabow said he is sorry for the “deranged” man who authorities say shot two Pentagon police officers. Nonetheless, David Sabow notes that Bedell was thought to be intelligent and had clearly analyzed the evidence in James Sabow’s death. And while Bedell’s Internet musings brings welcome attention once again to the case of his brother, he fears Bedell’s rantings could undermine his efforts to unearth the truth.

“The greatest chance is that the intelligence agencies will try to use this to delegitimize the authenticity of the evidence that proves beyond a doubt that Colonel Sabow was murdered,” David Sabow said Friday.

David Sabow said he did not hear of Bedell until he read news reports about what he’d written on web sites, where he appeared to have concerns about 9/11 and was generally angry with the federal government.

Bedell's problems with the law

Bedell apparently had also had problems with the law, including charges for marijuana possession. According to ABC News, he was charged in Nevada with possessing 76 grams of marijuana. (For more on the Pentagon shooting, click here.)

Bedell appears to be a textbook case for the kind of individual whose anger at the government found validation with the case of James Sabow.

David Sabow claims his brother was killed because he had knowledge of illegal activity on the El Toro base, since closed, in which senior officers were helping to ship drugs into the US from Central America. Yet more than five investigations over the years have concluded that Sabow died at his own hand, distraught over being relieved of his job for unrelated reasons.

Those government investigations are shams, says Sabow. He points to numerous pieces of evidence – supported, he says, by at least a dozen independent investigators – that Sabow was in fact killed.

One of the last investigations was directed by Congress. Sabow and some former government officials convinced Rep. Duncan Hunter (R) of Calif. to direct the Pentagon to open up yet another case, in 2004.

That investigation, led by Jon Nordby, a criminal forensic analyst and death investigator, concluded that Sabow committed suicide even while it acknowledged that mistakes were made in previous investigations.

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