It was supposed to be a joke.
“They crossed the Clintons. I bet they’re going to be killed.” Laughter… because the Clintons have been engaged in shady deals and have been terrible people, so they get compared to a crime family. There are, absolutely, felonies that the Clintons have performed, had their agents perform or have had close associates perform.
Fraud, such as with Whitewater. Suborning perjury of Monica Lewinsky. Perjury in the Paula Jones case. Improper handling of confidential material, associated to Hillary’s private server. Abuse of power, as in the Travelgate scandal. Removing classified papers from the National Archives.
And then there are, absolutely, criminal actions that the Clintons or their associates may have performed, but which have not been adequately proven. Rape. Payoffs from the Chinese government. Pardons exchanged for vote buying. Extorting money from foreign governments. Sexual assault. Blackmail, associated to the long-missing FBI files of prominent government figures.
Conspicuously missing from that list is murder. It’s simple to see why.
In politics, it is far easier to pay off, financially ruin or smear the reputation of an enemy than it is to physically harm them. Convincing someone to bend their principles, just once, allows them to be portrayed as a liar and a hypocrite should they ever be in a position to damage their enemies. Simply producing a situation where the accuser is shown to benefit – whether financially or emotionally – is often enough to discredit even righteous complainants. Murder, on the other hand, ensures a deeper investigation, lends any allegations by the murdered individual the appearance of truth, and creates survivors who will work to bring the murderers to justice. Moreover, the threat of injury, let alone murder, is enough to render any politician toxic. In a business that depends on leveraging influence and forming consensuses, few want to see anyone in a position of power who might injure or kill them if things go wrong. A politician may get away with large-scale theft, graft, sexual abuse, and just about every type of depravity known to man, but the exposure of violence toward other figures even tangentially related to the political realm is a career-ender.
Killing an enemy is the worst, most risky way to nullify a political adversary. The notion that any successful politician in a representative government would arrange to murder secretly not one, but dozens of people is ludicrous.
Consider the Trump administration. The family has rumored mob ties dating back decades, much as did the Kennedys. In theory, it would be easy for Trump to arrange the death of some of his highest-profile Republican critics like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Ben Sasse, or at least less nationally prominent activists like Susan Wright and Steve Deace. Far more effective, however, is enticing some of them to publicly refute their prior positions and marginalizing the others. It suggests to the followers that there was never any validity to their complaints about Trump.
That hasn’t stopped the rumors from flying, though. They date back to 1993, when conspiracy theorist Linda Thompson created a list of people associated with Bill Clinton who had died. She theorized that it was the work of someone trying to influence the President by eliminating his opponents, and sent the list to Congressman William Dannemeyer of California.
Dannemeyer was a conspiracy theorist as well, and widely disseminated the list throughout Congress. (gpo.gov) From there it found its way to staffers and lobbyists, some of whom saw a potential benefit in distributing it as well… only with some tweaks to indicate that it was the Clintons themselves behind it all. In this way, dozens of variants started appearing in e-mail to thousands of people throughout the country. Seeing multiple variations of the same information arrive from different sources enhanced the perceived truthfulness of the allegations among some people; the rest regarded it as a joke. After all, people with far more damning information than those on the “kill list” had never been injured.
But many didn’t treat it as a joke.
One of the strongest arguments in favor of the list was the sheer quantity of people on it… initially, almost thirty. The average person knows at most a handful of people who have died due to accident or suicide. But the Clintons were not average people. When people run first a state government, then a federal government for years they are going to come into contact with a far greater number of people – especially stressed people – than average citizens. Ronald and Nancy Reagan, working first in Hollywood and then in government, knew dozens of people who died by accident or their own hand, but people did not assemble a kill list for them. The difference was that the Clintons were known to be unscrupulous people… but again, it would have been stupid and counterproductive to kill their enemies. The Clintons were not known to work against their own interests.
The list has grown over the years, now numbering over a hundred victims in most of the list’s iterations. It continues to grow. When a specific person’s death is debunked as being unconnected to the Clintons – such as the easily refuted claim that they killed Anthony Bourdain (TNB) – the list is defended as being only a compilation of “suspicious” deaths, with the understanding that some, probably only a spare handful, were included by error.
There is no error, though. A look through the kill list finds many suicides which are made to appear dubious through phrasing such as “ruled a suicide” and inclusion of “facts” that run counter to the official reports… such as the famed “suicide by bullet to back of head”. When presented with the fact that no indication of such a bullet track is on the coroner’s report, the believers still will not falter, instead stating that the coroner is part of the conspiracy or the records have been altered. The list also finds that many accidents are “suspicious” or “looked like an accident”. Accidents, by their very nature, are unplanned and often random events, and they almost always look like accidents. Removing all of the questionable and disproved names from the kill list would result in an empty sheet of paper, and that fuels nobody’s needs.
So, what are some of these “debunked” murders? We’ll address that in part 2, Vince Foster & Friends