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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    3

    VA - Tommy Burkett, 21, Herndon, 1991

    This happened seven months before I graduated high school about a mile from my home. I met his mother some years later at a local shopping center.

    SUMMARY:
    On December 1, 1991, Tommy Burkett was found dead in his Herndon, Virginia home with multiple injuries--a fractured jaw, a battered right ear, and abrasions on his chest. He also had a bullet wound to the head, supposedly self-inflicted from a .357 Magnum that was in the room. The exit wound was 1/4" by 1/2". The autopsy revealed no powder burns nor powder debris. The gun's cylinder was unlatched, and there were no prints on the gun or cartridges. The police did not talk to witnesses who observed Tommy's car being chased that afternoon , saw his car returned to the house hours after he was already dead, and observed other cars at the scene.

    The investigating officer from the Fairfax County Police lied repeatedly concerning his activities; the medical examiner's signature was forged on the report identifying manner and cause of death one day prior to an autopsy; and the pathologist denied the existence of photos of the injured right ear even though he had previously shown them to Tommy's father. After appealing to the Virginia State Medical Examiner and The Governor, the parents appealed to the Justice Department.

    The FBI at first refused to investigate, but after Janet Reno received over 4000 signatures on a petition, they opened an investigation. In their 20-month "investigation" they never spoke to the investigating officer and accepted the word of the local medical examiner, Dr. Donald Haut that his obviously forged signature was his own(Wm. Megary, the FBI supervisor, said "Anyone can sign anyone's name to anything."). They took walls from the Burkett house which held blood spatter far removed from the death scene but did no DNA testing, although they did acknowledge it was human blood and the pattern was consistent with gunshot injuries. FBI investigator Robert Pocica refused to accept tips from "Unsolved Mysteries" and refused to interview reporters who had received threats after covering Tommy's story. He did not obtain or test the gun, nor did he obtain and compare fingerprints collected by the expert hired by the family (the FCPD did no fingerprinting other than the gun, did not test the gun, did not remove the supposed "fatal" bullet from the wall nor do any other forensic tests). In short, the FBI followed the same script as the FCPD with the obvious intention of clearing the local cops of any wrongdoing. This is the pattern established by the feds in cases like this. (See the "Primetime" segment of Dec. 13, 1995 on FBI investigations of local police misconduct.)

    thepacc dot org

    Last edited by bessie; 08-19-2013 at 12:44 AM. Reason: removed bad links

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Native Texan, In Germany
    Posts
    2,195
    What an incredible tribute to their son.

    Yes, this was obviously a murder, and not a suicide. Good grief, this web site is just full of information. These folks (the parents) were very thorough.

    A very shocking and tragic story.

    Some great information on the suggestions page that also would apply to the families of the missing, lost and abducted.

    Prayers of comfort for Tom, and for justice for Tommy.

    With love and HOPE, Lanie
    Last edited by bessie; 08-19-2013 at 12:45 AM. Reason: removed bad links

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    7,189
    Great website. This is a lot like the Janey Ward case in Arkansas that I just posted.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    598
    This is just pitiful.
    Everything this poor family has been through.
    I hope you find
    Justice For Tommy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    3

    anniversary

    Yesterday marks the 14th anniversary of Tommys death.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    303
    Quote Originally Posted by WasBlind
    What an incredible tribute to their son.

    Yes, this was obviously a murder, and not a suicide. Good grief, this web site is just full of information. These folks (the parents) were very thorough.

    A very shocking and tragic story.

    Some great information on the suggestions page that also would apply to the families of the missing, lost and abducted.

    Prayers of comfort for Tom, and for justice for Tommy.

    With love and HOPE, Lanie

    I wish the parents would move to the summary page the fact that Tommy was a DEA informant. I think that's what his murder was all about. I didn't note that fact until I read the page about the police talking to Unsolved Mysteries.
    Last edited by bessie; 08-19-2013 at 12:46 AM. Reason: removed bad link

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    12
    I recognized the name Tommy Burkett as a case that was ongoing during the brief time I worked for the Fairfax County Police Dept. My question is has anyone ever heard the spoken of 911 calls? Why were they not kept? I transcribed many a 911 call for detectives. Shouldn't there have been a long pause when they realized they had 911 recordings from an individual who supposedly killed himself only minutes or hours later?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    88
    Like amnesiac, I also lived in the Chantilly Highlands neighborhood when Tommy Burkett was killed in his home. Beth went door to door asking neighbors if they knew or saw anything that day. She also came around to give the neighbors updates and ask us to sign petitions to have the case reopened. I gladly signed them and kept up with the case before moving from the area about 10 yrs ago. Sadly, I read where Beth passed a away a few years ago and her husband passed not too long after. I remember Beth telling me she kept the crime scene in her home intact so that when the case was reopened, it could be reexamined. Also, Unsolved Mysteries did a segment on the Burkett case. Beth believed her son knew too much about a drug ring at his university and was killed because of it. I so wish she could have had some resolution before she died. I definitely do not think Tommy committed suicide and cannot understand why his case was not reopened.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Who Dat Nation
    Posts
    29,614
    No news, just adding some working links.

    Burkett family still seeking answers in son's death Protest against police coverup to be held Aug. 4 on The Mall
    Fairfax Times
    It has been 10 years since Beth George and Thomas D. Burkett found their son Thomas C. Burkett dead in their Chantilly Highlands home.
    Jennifer Cooper
    August 1, 2002

    His badly beaten and lifeless body was posed on the couch in his room, feet crossed at the ankles and holding a .357-caliber Magnum in his hands.

    Burkett's parents, believing their son was murdered, called 911. But when Fairfax County police arrived they immediately ruled his death a suicide, producing a bank deposit slip scrawled with the words "I want to be cremated."

    That was Dec. 1, 1991.

    Today, Tommy's room in their home on Muirkirk Lane remains preserved as a crime scene and his parents are still searching for answers. They believe Tommy, a junior at Marymount University at the time, was murdered outside the home and later posed in his bedroom to look as if he killed himself. They allege the police have since covered up the crime.
    The 10 Most Notorious Unsolved College Crimes

    Unsolved Mysteries Wiki
    snip
    The father called 911. Shortly thereafter, two rescue vehicles were seen heading toward Muirkirk with their sirens on. Witnesses saw the first ambulance turn down a street adjacent to Muirkirk and stop by the curb. People got out of the ambulance and retrieved something from a small ravine, and then drove slowly away without their sirens on. (Later investigations would reveal footprints leading from the Burketts backdoor down toward the ravine. Though no cast was ever made of the shoe prints). The second ambulance proceeded to the Burkett's. EMTs examined Tommy's body and advised the Burketts that he had been dead for several hours. Then, against proceedure, left both the body and the scene.

    snip

    Furthermore, when questioned in a senate hearing about a ruling of suicide that Byers had made on a autopsy conducted on the body of White House Aide, Vincent Foster, in 1994, Byers stated that he had ruled the death a suicide based on trauma to the jaw and the presence of gun powder residue. Byer then admitted under oath that in the Burkett case, he had made his ruling of suicide based on the absence of jaw trauma and gunpowder residue. Byers also made a similar claim in the autopsy of another "suicide" victim.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,396
    "I want to be cremated" written on a bank deposit slip? That boggles the mind. Not only was this staged, it was staged in a hurry.

    I think whatever the police found beside the road is probably the key to the whole thing.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    517
    I just caught this on Unsolved Mysteries and am checking out this thread and the links.

    Hopefully Tommy's parents have their answers now in the here after.
    What do we think? What do we know? What can we prove?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    1
    It's been speculated that Tommy may have been gay (I've heard that it was a rumor at the time around campus). This has never been confirmed. I am curious if there is any truth to this (as it was a different time period, it might be an element to the crime that is missing)?

    While I do not believe in the LE/ DEA conspiracy, I do believe that murder was more likely than suicide. I believe the conspiracy angle was just easier for the parents to grasps, than a senseless murder.



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