Forensic expert Fred Whitehouse
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Forensic expert Fred Whitehouse suspected ATF of tampering with evidence in Omaha Two case.
Retired FBI Laboratory supervisor Fred Whitehurst provided professional consultation to the Nebraskans for Justice beginning in 1999. Whitehurst, a sixteen-year FBI veteran, was for a number of years the FBI Laboratory top explosives expert. Whitehurst turned his forensic investigative skills to the Omaha Two cases of Edward Poindexter and Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa (former David Rice).

Whitehurst ended his career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1998 as a whistleblower against sloppy science at the FBI Laboratory. Whitehurst's disclosures uncovered and reported scientific misconduct which forced the Bureau to adopt forty major reforms, including an accreditation process.

Mondo and Poindexter were leaders of Omaha's affiliate chapter of the Black Panther Party called the National Committee to Combat Fascism. The two men were also named targets of the clandestine COINTELPRO counterintelligence operation conducted by the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover. The Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Division was in a fierce rivalry with the FBI over the investigation of bombings and had also targeted Mondo and Poindexter under the so-called Midwest 22 investigation.

Agents of both the FBI and ATF joined the Omaha Police Department in making a case against the two Panther leaders for the August 17, 1970 bomb murder of Patrolman Larry Minard, Sr. One of the key pieces of evidence used against the Omaha Two were purported dynamite particles in a shirt pocket of Poindexter and pants pocket of Mondo. ATF agents took custody of the clothing and sent the garments to the ATF Laboratory where the dynamite trace was allegedly found. Both Poindexter and Mondo tested clean for dynamite at the time they were booked.

Whitehurst wrote a series of email messages to the Nebraskans for Justice about the pocket particles. Whitehurst wrote, "It is strange to me that "particles" of dynamite were found in clothing."

"Dynamite is not a loose material," explained Whitehurst. "When you stick a blasting cap into a cartridge of dynamite you don't open the cartridge up. You poke a hole into the cartridge and put a cap into it....Something ain't right here."

ATF Agent Thomas Sledge, a former Omaha policeman, was in charge of the evidence. Sledge also spearheaded the Midwest 22 investigation, a four-state conspiracy case the United States Attorney later ordered dropped. Seven of the witnesses at the Minard murder trial were also subjects of Sledge's Midwest 22 investigation. Sledge's brother, James Sledge, an Omaha patrolman, was injured at the scene of the Minard bombing.

"I am troubled by the fact...Thomas Sledge was allowed to conduct this investigation. It is not even short of outrageous," wrote Whitehurst. "This Sledge thing really has me shaking my head....It would seem that Sledge could have very well wanted the interpretation that he felt was needed to make this a Panther bomb."

"Why did Sledge run the investigation? Why was he allowed to be involved in the investigation. At the WACO crime scene, ATF was replaced by outside agencies so that there would be no question concerning bias in the investigation."

Whitehurst was also troubled over Sledge making repeated trips to Washington to meet with ATF Laboratory personnel: "Why was Sledge involved in this investigation and why was he allowed to travel back to DC to conduct these interviews? He seems to have had a personal agenda which very understandably he could have had."

"There is mention of dynamite particles found. I still find that suspicious. The dynamite is in cartridges that don't need to be opened ever except to punch a hole in them and stick a blasting cap in them. But there are dynamite particles in many places. This is not right."

"There seems to be something wrong with the fact that dynamite particles were found on the evidence items," wrote Whitehurst. "When I read the literature from the period of time that this case took place, the ATF is saying that they can and do find such particles. And yet finding those particles did not continue in the literature nor in the experience that I have at the FBI lab."

Fred Whitehurst summed up his suspicions, "Something doesn't add up here unless that evidence was salted."