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Posted at 1:32 PM ET, 01/ 3/2011

Vietnam wall figure killed in Delaware

By Paul Duggan
Paul Duggan

A former Army officer and Pentagon official who played a prominent role 30 years ago in erecting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was found dead in a Delaware landfill on Friday in what authorities said was a homicide.

John P. Wheeler, 66, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who became a special assistant to the Air Force secretary in the mid-2000s, was found dead shortly before 10 a.m. in a Wilmington, Del., dump, not far from his home, police said.

As chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund from 1979 to 1989, Wheeler was a key figure in the controversial push to build the memorial, which opened on the Mall in 1982. He lived with his wife in New Castle, Del., about 10 miles south of Wilmington, and recently had been working in Washington in the defense-consulting field, his lawyer said.

Police said Wheeler was scheduled to be on Amtrak train from Washington to Wilmington on Dec. 28, but investigators are not certain whether he was on the train. On Friday, a worker at the Cherry Island Landfill in Wilmington saw Wheeler's body in a truckload of trash that was being dumped at the landfill, according to police.

Investigators determined that the trash in the truck had been picked up that morning in Newark, Del., about 12 miles west of Wilmington. How Wheeler wound up in Newark remains a mystery, said Lt. Mark Farrell of the Newark Police Department, which is handling the case.

Farrell declined to say how Wheeler was killed but said an autopsy determined that his death was a homicide.

[This post has been updated.]



By Paul Duggan  | January 3, 2011; 1:32 PM ET
Categories:  Homicide, Paul Duggan  
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Comments

Interesting that the Post makes no mention that he was also an advisor to Bush Jr. and that he probably had knowledge of the Bush/Cheney involvement in their 9/11 attack against America. No doubt many will be suspiciously dropping off the map since the off-presidency years for the Bush family means clean-up time, just as after Kennedy's assassination. CNN reported the Bush link. Why didn't the Post? Our only real hope is that he left behind a smoking gun of evidence. Otherwise, good riddance.

Posted by: Byrd3 | January 3, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey a case for Darryl Issa to investigate.

Remember Vince Foster? It didn't take Dan Burton long to jump on that case.

Come on Issa this is a good opportunity for fair and balanced investigations.

Posted by: knjincvc | January 3, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Memo to Issa he rode on the same Amtrak line that Biden always used to commute on.

Sarcasm intended

Posted by: MerrillFrank | January 3, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Byrd3,

Doesn't that tin foil in your hat itch?

Posted by: hisroc | January 3, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Gee, what a sad end to an interesting and significant life. I hope we get to know what happened. I'm thinking it wasn't a mugging gone bad.

Posted by: hebe1 | January 3, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I think the Vietcong finally got their man...

Posted by: ozpunk | January 3, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised that The Washington Post doesn't have the back story of this guy's ongoing fight with a neighbor who is building a house that would block his view, including the fact that a smoke bomb was found in the neighbor's house-under-construction recently. It's in the local Delaware media. It could be relevant, since -- like politics -- most murders are local. A neighborhood dispute gone bad is more plausible than any of these whacked out conspiracy theories.

Posted by: tdiaz | January 3, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Man, he had a good run... I mean Vietnam war memorial--who didn't see that coming? And Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. That is called a double teat.

Posted by: WmLaney | January 3, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

TO: Byrd3 who wrote:
“Interesting that the Post makes no mention that he was also an advisor to Bush Jr. and that he probably had knowledge of the Bush/Cheney involvement in their 9/11 attack against America…”

^^^^^^^^^^

Michael Moore did a documentary on Bush’s connection with Osama Bin Laden called “Fahrenheit 9/11” which shows that Bush and Osama Bin Laden grew up together, and that Bush was complicit on 9/11, among many other facts about the corrupt Bush Administration.


Posted by: lindalovejones | January 3, 2011 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Have they ruled out witchcraft?

Posted by: Provincial | January 3, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

@lindalovejones: I would never characterize anything done by Michael Moore as a documentary. His liberal propaganda is nothing but his warped opinion.

Posted by: Jsuf | January 3, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

@lindalovejones wrote: I would never characterize anything done by Michael Moore as a documentary. His liberal propaganda is nothing but his warped opinion.

He's more factual than Fox News could ever dream to be.

Posted by: fbutler1 | January 3, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

@fbutler1: You are obviously drinking the liberal kool aid as well.

Posted by: Jsuf | January 3, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

@lindalovejones wrote: I would never characterize anything done by Michael Moore as a documentary. His liberal propaganda is nothing but his warped opinion.

He's more factual than Fox News could ever dream to be.

Posted by: fbutler1 | January 3, 2011 6:23 PM
____________________________________________

Sure, just as factual as Borat, but not nearly as funny.

Folks, Jack Wheeler was a great American who did a huge service to hundreds of thousands of Viet Nam veterans who did not receive the recognition and appreciation that they deserved when they came home, particularly the ones who "gave all" in that awful war. Kindly take your cockamamie conspiracy theories and political statements somewhere else.

Posted by: hisroc | January 3, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Problem with pretending you're with the mob is that eventually you have to deal with them; especially with the quantity of opium being produced in Afghanistan since Bush and company brought us there.

Bush's darling Press Secretary routinely made mobster jokes which never seemed funny.

And of course those of you explaining this as a mugging or neighborhood zoning dispute must be correct. Those always result in a body stashed in a Jersey landfill.

Posted by: googlesmoogle | January 3, 2011 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Jsuf, you wrote "drinking the liberal kool aid" What a bright and colorful phrase! I assume it's original. Congratulations!!

Posted by: lowercaselarry | January 3, 2011 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Wheeler was profiled in THE LONG GRAY LINE by Rick Atkinson. His detractors might want to read it before commenting further.

Posted by: jbartelloni | January 3, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Not detracting. He was a nice guy, very polite and clean. I will miss him. I hope they find who did this.

Posted by: Nearnortheast | January 3, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Alright, what did he do to the Clintons?

Posted by: wewintheylose | January 3, 2011 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I am appalled at the contempt that the liberal leftwingers have for out soldiers. This man served honorably in his time. The wars were not of his choice, nor are any of them. There isn't a soldier, sailor, marine who wishes to die for there country. It is the ultimate sacrifice to preserve and defend the principles this country was founded on. Usually, it is in battlefields far from home.

I hope that this soldier has peace in knowing that he gave for the comrades his best.

Find this man's killer, and send him to Hell.

Posted by: ssmorehouse | January 3, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

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