ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In the Season One Finale, Payne and Gottlieb travel to Texas where they meet with two key witnesses who finally explain what was really going on with Bell Helicopters Textron and the FAA, and how it allegedly relates to Tom Wales’ murder.

English
United States
explicit content

TRANSCRIPT

00:00:00somebody somewhere is a production of rain stream media Incorporated this podcast investigate the murder that occurred in 2001 is a true story but the opinions of the host and interviewees are simply that opinions about facts in The credibility of the witnesses and what they say is to be determined by The Listener everyone is presumed innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law
00:00:38previously on somebody somewhere
00:00:42so you were suspicious
00:00:48odds are if there's a murder then one of the big three are involved money love or jealousy here what are the things he was talking about up there was a guy named Jeremiah in your notes reflect that this is part 2 of episode 10 For Whom the Bell Tolls is also our season 1 finale I'm your host David Payne
00:01:24tonight we are talking to two independent journalist recently the subject of a podcast getting the whales murder in a new podcast called somebody has their own and that is what has new interest
00:01:46I have a prepaid call from
00:01:48Colorado Correctional Facility
00:01:55you tell me that somebody had water pills bed and playing hard history game to do the job he was involved in it through a window this house out of town and threw the gun into a river that flows underneath by 5
00:02:18just another Wednesday on the phone talking with a serial killer about what he told the FBI about Tom Wells murder yes it's that Scott Lee Kimball episode 3 if you're just joining this podcast now to find out what happened in the Tom Wells murder case stop and go back to the beginning cuz the rest of this episode will make no sense whatsoever but fastidious listeners will remember the story about Jeremiah
00:02:49so the biggest thing that we were curious about was the whole Jeremiah connection and what that was all about who is Jeremiah for what and what was your interaction with him describe Jeremiah for us I want to see a 511 6-foot maybe a hundred 90 LB White tattoos
00:03:21and how did you get connected with whales him and his gang were hired to take care of this
00:03:38from what I understand it was somebody that had had any ex relationship with whales I thought it was a let me to believe in Wilson
00:03:54how did you become close enough with Jeremiah for him to be calling you will keep in touch this guy who had hired him and why they wanted him dead who had a personal Vendetta against it was like maybe
00:04:57that's we listen to Kimball shifting explanation of what Jeremiah told him about who might have killed Tom whales I think we're going to have to agree with bone and wash him out as well but didn't you say something about prostitution in the reason I asked that is that whales never prosecuted anything related to sex crimes or anything in the like okay got it or we put this whole Saga behind us we couldn't of course leave without asking the biggest open question of all I guess I should ask you where you in Seattle in October of 2001 there was a suggestion that you may have had something to do with the whales murder since you were in Seattle at the time what's your reaction to that
00:05:52and of course we didn't really expect a different answer all the way Scott Lee Kimball It's probably hard to ever know what is true but on one topic Kimball did make a point they gave us pause the FBI is like a dog with a bone once she gets that idea that bone in his mouth you can't get him to look at you and can't get you something on your mind
00:06:37and this phone conversation as long as it was was a microcosm of our investigation of the time Wheels case it seemed like everyone had an angle or a genda and truth be told I started to worry a little bit about whether we were developing our own
00:06:54Kiro 7 tonight we are talking to two independent journalist who say they have become experts on the unsolved murder of Tom whale biggest questions you have at this point about Thomas Wales is murder I'd like to know it if they explored any other theories outside the pilot was showing you a journalist
00:07:17when we got into the story 9 months ago all we knew was that it was an unsolved murder we didn't know who the players or even let the theories were but every day it was just becoming more apparent there was more to this story than the unofficial official version which was there simply wasn't enough evidence to bring a case against the FBI's Prime Suspect Steve Jackson in the background there was always this weird thing going on with the FBI in the family of Tom whales they both wanted us to stand down and it made us wonder what facts they were working from that they wouldn't welcome new attention after all these years but whenever these concerns rear their head we simply reminded ourselves before we ever knew Tom Wells was the FBI had tried for 16 years to get the guy in their sights and it hadn't been able to make a case
00:08:22so after all this external and self-examination what was true to make el sakka really have information about a Bosnian Hitman who killed Tom is someone silence whales for his work on gun control was there a jealous boyfriend working in the backyard with a Makarov to the pilot by replacement barrel in Tonasket that could be traced to The Killing was McClung involved in the murder as an accomplice was the pilot simply an innocent man Angry over the government overreach in the helicopter case and just what was going on there and if we wanted to solve this murder need to look no further than kcr 00249 it was a funky prosecution anyway the whole thing really was kind of strange but I don't recall anything else jump it out from that case except for how unusually angry people were at what was really I mean it was
00:09:22area was an infraction against the company everybody else have been dismissed out at the time the play was signed you know nobody was named per say it was in tracks that played to the deal and Carter wasn't the only journalist confused by the case and what it meant so is toobin some 6 years later it's just that I had no idea that the underlying contact was even a crime and whales fixation on it was kind of bizarre because it wasn't like I was accused of stealing from people hurting people even placing people in real danger it was this peculiar case about how and whether you can retrofit helicopters and you can certainly understand why
00:10:16was bitter and angry that he had been pursued for so long where I kept getting stuck was understanding how anger as a motive this fact pattern sure anger is a core ingredient to Heat of the Moment crimes but this didn't feel like that it'll be more accurate the evidence didn't suggest Heat of the Moment give me the careful planning and lack of evidence Left Behind not just our opinion listen to former US attorney Mike McKay just last month the killer was familiar with X property and his work habits he was careful on the night of the murder to avoid setting off flood lights in the yard there were attached the motion detectors leading investigators to believe that this was a carefully-planned execution
00:11:07they call premeditated murder cold-blooded precisely because anger is not present what's the thing about Crimes of Passion like second-degree murder is that they typically happen when there is no relief valve for the pent-up anger but in the pilots case there was an outlet for his frustrations payback in court
00:11:30immediately after the dismissal of a helicopter case the pilot and his attorney Larry Satchel by the well researched and protracted malicious prosecution complaint against the government which was still pending at the time of Wales death and we say firmly believe they would win and one of the things most interesting about that lawsuit was it the majority of the pilots anger seem to wrecked it at the FAA not at Wales well that lawsuit is the product of a disgruntled litigant there were certain anomaly sided it also caught my attention when I was independently researching the helicopter case
00:12:07let the top of my list was a curious appearance in that case of a man named Ricky Boatwright
00:12:14another dirt road is the sun's out
00:12:19the first sunny day we've had on this project
00:12:25Sienna car
00:12:30what do you think you could call him
00:12:36hi is this Ricky Mister boat ride we have literally flown 2000 miles to see if we could come talk to you for 15 minutes
00:12:48so it's Thursday we're in Corsicana Texas we're at a Burger King and we're speaking with Ricky Boatwright thanks for joining us Ricky Untoten God-fearing Sunday school teacher and former helicopter mechanic who's agreed to meet us to discuss his connection to the whales helicopter case some 20 years ago the last time we saw the helicopter at the heart of that case it was being taken apart by FAA inspectors and Jon Hearns Linden hanger but in 1996 following the mysterious and fatal crash of can carry Two ultra light the pilot Steve Jackson and his partner Kim Powell net the helicopter ship to Texas to finish work on it and get it certified for flight
00:13:34I want of the first things I want to know is how on Earth Boatwright came to be personally named as a conspirator the helicopter case he wasn't even a defendant
00:13:48I showed you a document had you read it just a moment ago this was the plea agreement on the outcome of that case when they dismiss the case and in this document it is a Les they Kim pal
00:14:02and you met some time between April and June of 1996 to falsify record logs on this helicopter this specifically says you got together to falsify the books and change the records know right what we did was we took records of the other mechanics that had done work on the airplane right and verified it and stuck it together right and I signed off on the log book saying I certified that this is a male 204b helicopter in number so and so and so this is a delegation in The Plea that Kim Powell would sign on behalf of intrex helicopters Inc was it the three men pal Boatwright and Steve Jackson the pilot at the books because they contain signed work orders by can carry two dated 1996 to years after he died in the ultralight crash did you know any of the other mechanics
00:15:02worked on the helicopter no I didn't know right but there was a signature and an A&P number and a date right I've got no reason to question our go back and say what who is this guy or anything like that I have to honor his signature because that's what the rule books tell me to do did you know after this happened that they had put your name in this plea agreement that somebody contact you or I don't know nothing about no plea agreement was the first time that we ever saw it do you remember meeting
00:15:43I think I'm heading one time right now I think he did bring me a check or something over on there but I never had any conversations with him about the airplane or anything like that and I would recognize him if he walked up and bit me right you know but me and Kim was the ones that get all the transactions and stuff they're all your dealings were with Kim Powell my log books with
00:16:09no right no right like I said we constituted along book right and there's Provisions in the rigs to do that and I meant this airplane was totaled out there somewhere right there that's eight and a half by 11 right it's not like a little long book that goes and a general aviation aircraft log book why do you think Paula signed off on this allegation I don't know if I was powerful and I done full with it as long as he had I just wanted to go away right I meant you know people keep messing with you so long right pretty soon you just throw your hands up says whatever
00:17:01for the umpteenth time in the story here again reminded how random life can be here's a guy living out in tiny perdon Texas scraping out a living as a Bell Helicopter mechanic comes into contact with two guys from Bellingham who eventually get him tied up with the Tom Wells murder investigation I can't help it ask how I bumped into Kim Powell at the Gary Hyman's place up in Cleburne Texas up in Ellie text and Kim was saying that he was having a hard time getting the helicopter put back together and getting it certified in the Seattle area Ryan says the FAA wouldn't do anything for him or anything like that and I told him well I said you took it down to Texas and will finish putting it together and will do what other modifications or whatever you want on it right and we'll see if we can get it certified down there
00:18:00how long did you work on the helicopter down here after you finish working on it what was the process did you take it to get it approved so after the repairs were done to the airplane to make it back into serviceable condition it had to have a type inspection on it so we've asked the FAA man to come down who was Gene Bland and he did an inspection on the airplane and double checked all of our work and once it was done he issued an airworthiness certificate for their crap the FAA inspector the boat ride in Powell saw that sign off from was a man named Gene Bland
00:18:43when was the 16-year veteran of the FAA as well as a Vietnam vet and an accomplished airplane mechanic we had seen his name to in the malicious prosecution brief filed by the Pilot's attorney Larry satchel and of course Jody and I wouldn't be able to rest until we found it and when we did maybe for the first time in this whole investigation thanks started making common sense but not necessarily at first
00:19:14thank you so much have a good day
00:19:17this road about a mile and a half and he'll be a little ways down on your left hand side
00:19:23that's interesting
00:19:30is Link in the middle of nowhere
00:19:37maybe the sample CIA retirement front maybe this is the year America
00:19:53I'm just going to get some audio levels here David if you wouldn't mind the rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain the rain in Spain falls mainly on the Spaniards indeed it does okay so today is Saturday and we are here with Gene Bland the second time in a matter of weeks Jodi and I find ourselves in the cluttered office of a former Aviator in Texas and I'm starting to wonder if this is what my life has come to get it taken us weeks to track down Bland and it was touch and go on whether we could talk her way past the guard house but when we did we found out we were the first ones who attract down former FAA inspector Bland about this case
00:20:4612 years ago FBI agents Ron bone and Dave Souza had been there too
00:20:53and I told me that this was about the time Wells murder and they wanted to ask me what I knew about it eventually it said what would you be interested in taking apart wrap did they ask you if you kill Tom whales they ask that and then they asked if I knew who did it did they ask you about any particular handguns yeah they asked me if I knew what a Makarov was did they just asked out of the blue if you had a Makarov no they just asked me if I knew what it was
00:21:27understand how it came to pass that the lead case agents in the whales murder investigation where in Texas five years after the crime polygraphing of former FAA inspector about a Mac and it's possible involvement in the killing we probably need to explain how it was a bland became involved in the helicopter case in the first place one of my inspection authorization holders it was helicopter mechanic for the rookie Boatwright he came in my office with gimp I only brought a whole two boxes full of aircraft records and documents and they wanted a replacement airworthiness certificate for the bell 204b and I securing this 204b replacement airworthiness certificate for the helicopter will be literal goal for Powell and Steve Jackson the pilot with it they can fly the helicopter as a civilian aircraft which would open it up for you some fire fighting and other uses where you had to Ferry passengers
00:22:26when would inspect their documents an issue that replacement certificate for Kim Powell in the pilots helicopter and that paperwork would leave a paper trail it would lead whales to Bland some 3 years later and the FBI to him some five years after that so what was the next thing that happened but I didn't know it at the time but this aircraft was on a hit list by the DOT office Inspector General as suspected unapproved Parts when I expected aircraft I didn't do a complete Conformity only inspected the parts that were modified but it appeared to me to be a valid aircraft is a tool for beef made by Bell as a civilian aircraft it was never a military aircraft the one I saw was a bell what gland is talking about is an aircraft Conformity inspection plans review of the helicopters paperwork and later the aircraft itself would lead him to conclude that Palin Jackson Teller
00:23:26doctor was not a military model being retrofitted but actually at its core it was a bell civilian 204b
00:23:35and that opinion will get Bland sideways with his bosses at the FAA
00:23:40it would also directly contradicted case whales was building against Powell and Jackson in fact the government's hole theory was at the merging of military and civilian Parts on a helicopter would make it inherently unsafe because military Parts didn't go through the type of rigorous testing that civilian Parts did and he was a veteran FAA inspector and a helicopter mechanic down in Texas calling BS
00:24:11so Bell Helicopter was saying that these parts were inferior to civilian certified parts right and that you couldn't use them on a civilian machine why why was Bell Helicopter saying that but I would assume because they didn't want them come out on the market so that you can buy part cheaper than you'd be buying it from Bell and it's Brendan Boatwright where we counting their stories to us I finally realized what we had here a ground side view from to infantry men in a war that have been brewing for years between Bell helicopters in the FAA on the one hand and The Operators who wanted to exploit Bell Surplus Parts on the other
00:25:01we kept getting their wedding and directives from the FAA saying be careful right these are bogus parts and all like this check the part numbers and it looked like a bunch of us right was that Bell was losing sales because the war was going on no more and they wasn't selling large amount the parts anybody
00:25:24and just like that the pieces started to fall into place when we started to see the outlines of a possible motive for murder
00:25:32and the things we learn months ago from defense attorney and former ausa Bob Chadwell and about the unexplainable pursuit of this single helicopter now finally had a context
00:25:49where was Bill so interested in this was it a business issue a safety issue money
00:25:55basically because the view from our side of the table was that the government was being led down the Primrose path by investigators have been LED down the Primrose path by Bell Textron
00:26:09according to former FAA inspector Bland when he explained all this Primrose path leading to the FBI some five years after the wheels murder they actually seem grateful to finally have some context of the helicopter case that they believe was tied to Wales death do they ask you if you killed someone else and then they asked if I knew who did it if I knew anything about it what was your reaction to that question didn't phase you at all I don't think they were trying to trip me up I think they were trying to actually find facts to put that are the questions you guys are asking trying to find out what is all this about this is a lot involved here
00:26:57they have been working on it for several years they didn't have any good leads and some of the things I told him they were appreciative that's why they asked me to go for the polygraph because I dim a scenario about the Bell Helicopter deal in about how this came about in the money involved and so on and it said that you know we may work on an investigation for several years and all we get is documents and things and when can we finally we meet somebody like yourself and if you really clarified a lot of things
00:27:38what plant says he clarified in that polygraph that he claims he passed with flying colors was this war between Bell helicopters and The Operators determine to make a profit on their Surplus parts and underneath this complex relationship between the government and Bell
00:27:55and if the FAA been co-opted to help with an FAA inspector Gene Bland wasn't exactly cooperating with another Federal agency the one he work for in fact the Seattle FAA office was trying to keep that aircraft grounded following their fine-tooth inspection of the helicopter in John Hern and can carrot juice hanger 2 years prior and that was the problem that Kim Powers having up in Seattle right was that you can't do this and you can't do that so when he brought the airplane down here to Texas with Jean bling on RFA men that was down here and he don't tell you can't do this he tells you how you can go about doing it
00:28:40implant hope Alan Jackson the pilot just how to do it how to get their birth certified in the air and one of the issue that replacement airworthiness certificate for the helicopter it didn't hurt him a pat on the back from his bosses at the FAA it got him a subpoena from Tom Wells a subpoena that led to questions about why blandwood okay this helicopter for flight
00:29:08when I went out to testify before the Federal grand jury in Seattle they had brief me to say they wanted me to testify about my involvement with the Bell 204b can Palace I never met but I'll admit I'm in my office and again when I went out to do some approvals on some modifications missed the boat ride at done to the aircraft cuz you went to Seattle for the reasons you will understand again we're now going to need the bleep out another name in this part of the story one belonging to someone will refer to Simply as the FAA special agent when I get out there I meant the assistant us attorney Tom Wales he introduced me to meet me downstairs introduced me to a special agent with the FAA Security Branch was his name
00:30:08and they brought me into a conference room with a large oval shape table and then he excused himself and left who did whales whales did in room well they had me sit at one end of the stable and sat on the opposite side at the far end and he had a whole bunch of paper stacked up between me and him next to his arm and he had a small stack of documents in front of me and I could see that they were FAA form 337 s and I could also see that they were not for the helicopter they were for my personal aircraft why would those be there that's the question I at I said something's not right here
00:30:53something didn't seem right to us either we didn't like the Optics at all who was a special agent and what was he up to if they brought me all the way out here to talk about a helicopter why are they showing me Meijer on personal aircraft has nothing to do with the gate what happened so I told I'm not going to be able to talk to you this is what I said I'm out here I'm going to paint it to talk to the grand jury about a specific helicopter and that's it he was doing by bringing your car craft I think he was going to try to find something on me so that he could own me so that I would lie to the grand jury what did he want you to say the grand jury well we didn't get to that because I cut him off I said I'm not going to talk to you about that and he says or not I says well because I've got a security clearance and I'm using my aircraft with another agency
00:31:53land tells us he works for several different federal agencies providing Aviation Consulting Services which require a high level security clearance something that prevented him from Talking further with the FAA special agent
00:32:08so describe sort of that interaction and what that was like in the room well the next thing I said is it I don't understand why you're spending so much government money on this project on this helicopter because there's no merit and your kicks and that it's a waste of government money as soon as I said that he jumps up out of the chair he starts pounding on the table with his fist and he starts frothing-at-the-mouth he actually had saliva coming out of the corner of his mouth and he was so angry that his body was just tents and I hadn't done anything and just say that so why would he be so pissed about this was so angry over a cakes
00:32:55Nancy was saying that I was thinking to myself I can think of a few reasons why a special agent might be
00:33:04at the time did you feel like he was personally invested there's got to be a reason why I got so angry and when I wouldn't cooperate with him he started making threats like what if you don't do what we want you to do we're going to come after you why would they come after you I hadn't done anything wrong that's just something really stinks here this doesn't pass the smell test if this was on the up-and-up I would be subpoenaed to testify about other things but the only thing it says I was supposed to bring all the document that anything to do with this one at helicopter I knew how she felt the matter where we turned it always seem to come down to that one helicopter who called you into testifying from the grantor think Tom Wheels came out and brought me in and they swarm and under oath what were the questions the initial briefing was that the aircraft
00:34:04fraudulent because it was converted from a military aircraft so I asked for clarification I said if you said that this was converted from a US military aircraft what kind of an aircraft was it converted from he said it doesn't matter whose Commonwealth and that's when you ask for clarification on that and I said that it has a flat bulkhead the 204 does you can't convert a uh-1b into a 204b and so they asked me what why not I says well for one the telephone is different and the holes don't line up in the bolts don't fit so you're saying essentially in the grand jury that the Kim Powell helicopter wasn't even a conversion from mm it was 204 it came out of the factory from Belle as a civilian Bill 204b helicopter how did grand jury or Tom Wells react to that
00:35:03the grand jury their mouth came open and they look like they were shocked they hadn't heard anything like that before. It will take that testimony when you gave it did he challenge it or did he go back down he didn't really show any emotion about it it just matter-of-fact and when I told him well Wells may have been matter of fact the FAA special agent who was allegedly frothing-at-the-mouth was most certainly not
00:35:34was standing there and I walked out and I looked at him and he was frothy was angry he was stiff it was so many he just had his eyes squinted and his teeth and then end up he was practically shaking so I looked at him and smiled and I said have a nice day and I walked on
00:35:57inspector Gene Bland wasn't the only one getting the stink eye it seem like anybody who ever touch this jinxed bird was headed to some sort of confrontation with the feds when was the next thing you heard about this helicopter what the thing was impounded or whatever right then then the next thing I know yours to FBI guys it comes down to my job describe from what happened on this particular day I showed up and they were saying that will did you know that it was a military machine I said no it wasn't on Military machine and I told him I know just about as much about rebuilding one of these things as they did and they said well we know the law to that's what okay they was kind of arguing with me about that they told me that my FAA inspector they were investigating him for doing something wrong and I said no that ain't going to work you know I said don't do that
00:36:57and Nana so later I guess it was the same guy showed up middle of the night they come out there with a subpoena or something other to go to a grand jury in Seattle
00:37:11Boatwright would go to that grand jury long with Gene Bland who would be called back to Seattle as second time to talk about this one Bell Helicopter and they were asking me all kinds of questions and stating facts that we couldn't rebuild an airplane like that and I told him if you got enough money and you got enough time you can rebuild anything right how did the grand jury take that testimony to interested in it he wanted to change the subject the prosecutor whoever that guy was
00:37:53well Tom Wells may have wanted to change the subject the grand jury didn't seem so Keen to who is doing the questioning in the second grand jury yeah and was there an assistant United States Attorney in there too or not yes, but he wasn't driving the questions the grand jury was yeah so your sense of this was that the grand jury wanted more information they subpoena you back and they just want to clarify and they talked all these other people to validate what you would told them for the first time by giving testimony that contrary to what they've been hearing all along all of a sudden they wanted more information
00:38:38when was the one nerve buys experiences at the Seattle grand jury it when he got home to Texas he started asking around and all sorts of trouble would follow one day I was called into the actors office and they told me that I was having all of my assignments taken away and I was under an investigation so I have some friends who worked in law enforcement and one of them was the detective he came in there one night and Anna as soon as I figure this out it's about Bell Helicopter well then I realized well it's about this bottle cover so I called the guy is Kim Powell and ask him about it he told me that it were all these aircraft wear under investigation so I actually went down there to a meeting and met the owners of the aircraft anywhere all had the same story and it had two aircraft see where was this meeting in Houston and there were how many people there roughly has over 20
00:39:40leftist meaning of 20 or so helicopter operators all the pieces would start coming together for Bland when he would learn about and later obtain a copy of a memo that sounds like something straight out of a John Grisham novel I saw a document with a bell letterhead sign by contract administrator from Belle written to Bell attorney and share with us but the letter said per your instructions written to the Bell attorney the following people have been paid for their participation in the Bell 204 retirement program and what is that mean Bell 204 retirement program well when you talk about the Bell retirement program you're not talking about a 401k you're talking about a plan to mothball mothball old military helicopters so that what would happen
00:40:39so that they could sell new ones to the government how much money are we talking about here I was billions of dollars there were about 20 aircraft maybe more on the Hitler and each one of these aircraft is worth anywhere from a million to three and a half million dollars in a brand new helicopter what would that cost about four times at
00:41:10I felt like they were evidence to me that they were people in the government that were being paid off by Bill they were people in bill that were involved in a conspiracy to take these aircraft out of service and that that might in the motive was that they wanted to sell the new aircraft for the government contracts that was what was behind it money and I paraphrase would have said it said per your instructions all of the people that are participating in the Bell 204 retirement program have been paid and they give a list of names some of the people work for the Department of Transportation office of Inspector General some of the paperwork for the FAA some of them were an engineering summer morn flight standards
00:42:04and if this explosive memo was true well that would at least explain some of the unexplained happenings around this one bird
00:42:12and if there was government corruption and it was big money just how high did it go
00:42:18when wasn't done explaining what else was on the memo in fact if we want to take the war metaphor further plan would drop a neutron bomb on us it was on the list well some of the paperwork for Department of Justice who do you remember specifically on that list from the OJ was on the list
00:42:49and now we are in Uncharted Territory a Relentless pursuit of this case has just dropped a big fat you know what in our lap and to be honest we weren't sure what to do with it first off we were openly skeptical that such a document would exist and second we aren't exaggerating when we say there was nothing we could see in Tom Wills pass it would be consistent with him being dirty
00:43:16but as we were debating our next steps on our return from Texas we got an email from the blinds with an attachment it was a memo on Bell letterhead did Bland describe
00:43:30so let's talk about the memo I received this document what appears to be a facsimile message memo a top sheet and at the header it says Bell Helicopter Textron in bold letters across the top of it it says not authorized for processing classified information Helen Patty is the author of the memo and she was a contract administrator at Bell Textron and it is addressed to the attention of Jim Burt Jim Burt is there Chief legal counsel and Helen Wright's gym payment has been made to the following people per your instructions for assistance in the 204 retirement program and she goes on to list roughly 17 people including time Wells and I just want to point out that his name is spelled w h a l e s on the list looks like their number of folks who names are from
00:44:30here to us that were involved in this particular helicopter case and they are a fake officials so there's probably close to 10 names on here that either way works specifically on this particular helicopter case pollen helicopter and there also is another. J official on here so it looks like we just have a cover sheet of a facsimile message that's right
00:45:02I like every other piece of information we have received we said about to corroborate it we couldn't find the reported author Helen Petty but we did track down the alleged recipient of the memo a man named Jim Burt was the former cheap attorney for product integrity at Bell helicopters we are producers were doing a podcast and we're trying to put some pieces together on what was going on in the late 90s with these lawsuits and Bell Helicopter. It doesn't
00:45:40really do you think you might have a couple minutes to come help us walkthrough a couple questions we have about this helicopter program
00:45:50tomorrow
00:45:52I have supposed to be there a time and place that you can recommend where we can meet
00:46:03and sure enough Timberwood meet us the following day although not at his house but at a local Starbucks in Fort Worth just minutes away from Bell Helicopter Textron corporate headquarters
00:46:17over jazz music in the den of commuters ordering their lattes the semi retired attorney gave us a decidedly contrarian view of the times than that of Chadwell Bland and Boatwright he said bill was justifiably focused on trying to shut down these unsafe rebuild helicopters around the country it was a safety issue and he was out front leading the charge speaking at conferences and writing law review articles on the subject Jody and I danced around the people mentioned in the document but we avoided a direct confrontation on the explosive subject matter of the memo as we have no idea what type of hornets nest we were kicking
00:46:55Burt seem like a perfectly respectable gentleman and we needed to know a lot more about this memo before we started loving accusations about him ordering government payoffs and the first thing we wanted to know was What gene Bland at told the FBI about the petty memo
00:47:12did you talk to the FBI about this memo what was the reaction of that I didn't have it with me to show him but I told him about it and I don't remember where they were familiar with it or not but I told him to talk to Kim Powell I don't know whether they did but I think I did that she had talked to him several times I think it originally When They confiscated his aircraft. Office of Inspector General he turn them into the FBI that they were doing things that would be on a scope of what they could do Kim Powell turned the DOT office of Inspector General in the Bell Helicopter people that were on the team that went out to look at his helicopter heave commit a complaint to the FBI FBI seem to know about that the guy is bone and Susan guest ready
00:48:03I don't know that they really told me that much but they were pretty open in talking to me after we got to talking when you gave them a polygraph statement did you talk about the memo specifically do they ask you about that not under the polygraph
00:48:23made aware of this allegation of payoffs and not wanting to ask about it while the subject is strapped into a polygraph certainly made us wonder if they really did want to know what they had stepped into and did talk to agent bone in the other guys about it I'm just curious what the reaction was to that anybody willing to do they follow up with you about it they didn't call me back call me up about it if they ask for you to get the memo memo either from Bland or from Powell and equally unclear whether that team which should lock their sights and tighten early on another case theory was open to hearing it's possible implications
00:49:11and then this next exchange the bleeping is not for the Pilot's name but for that a BFA special agent who allegedly threatened Bland at the grand jury
00:49:26FBI shows up comes to your office you start telling them what really is the backstory on this whole helicopter scenario that seem like news to them at the time yeah yeah and what way they seem to be really interested in it they help them put their investigation together did you recount for them this episode with and whales in the conference room yeah I did and I I told him to me my personal opinion from my encounter with he's a nutcase and that he would be that suspect that I would have ever voted for doing it what would his motive of been because I blew his case out of the water and he done Pam and Tom Wells were Todd's cuz Tom shows case down and I think he stayed in his career on this cakes and was on the list of people on the memo
00:50:24and now Reptar years in a variety of dilemmas he's allegations of payoffs and bribes how to contact that would provide Credence to some of the Oddities of this story to explain why whales pursued such a weird indictment which lumped together a bunch of people like Chester raspberry into a conspiracy with the pilot and Powell and it would explain the Curious the proper since I had help ground the bird and help Bell close out at simultaneous civil lawsuit against Palin Jackson as well
00:50:56but could also explain something else a possible motive for murder and Wales had some sort of falling out with the co-conspirator and wheels had second thoughts about his participation did it finally start making sense why they were crime scene slugs at Will's house with 6 left markings it was one other gun that left such markings with a similar land and groove range is the Makarov a government-issued Colt 380 ACP
00:51:31has Jodi and I struggled what to do with these allegations as we try to make all the pieces of the puzzle fit we had to remind ourselves that very little in this case was what it appeared this so-called simple homicide occurred in the fog of war between bail and its operators and there was Tom Wells once again out front leading the charge where it's just as easy to get killed by friendly as enemy fire and Jim Burt the Bell attorney in a ledge recipient of this memo was also on the front lines publicly championing Bell's position conferences in other speaking engagements and as we processed all this information it was not lost on us this document came from forces on the other side of this war
00:52:18nor that there were other known forgeries in this case including the helicopters data plate and it's chain of title documentation and there was at least one person in common with all of these ledge forgeries Kim Stafford Powell the pilots former business partner
00:52:36how was also the target of Tom Wells prosecution someone who would clearly have a grudge against Wales the FAA Jim Burt and Bell Textron all of whom were making his life miserable
00:52:49but here was the other context this lawsuit filed by the pilot and Larry Satchel in the month before Wells death to make all sorts of allegations of bad faith Queen Bell in the FAA North Wales was who we thought he was the prickly prosecutor with the righteous sense of justice he would have taken those allegations very seriously and likely begin his own investigation of the people that brought that helicopter case to his doorstep 3 years prior
00:53:19it was none other than self Proclaim lonely helicopter mechanic Ricky Boatwright who summed up exactly what we were thinking
00:53:27so when did you learn about Tom Wells is murder I don't really remember but it was a quite a while after all this stuff you know and it was just in passing did you think it was related to this case or right you know because he got tired of dealing with him or something like that seeing as how he wouldn't charge with nothing then he wasn't convicted and nothing or anything like that right it's my opinion and opinions are like everybody you know everybody's got one I kind of feel like it was a little bit higher up he probably stumbled across something that he wasn't intending on stumbling on and it cost that's the reason why I was kind of leery about talking to you all right you know because I don't know who y'all were nothing right and I ain't about to stick my neck way out there and get a chopped off
00:54:28opinions like Ricky's in hours are indeed like everybody but they are most certainly not like evidence the truth is the only people in position to get to the bottom of this the FBI and we have given them the petty mellow and Casey never retrieved it 10 years ago they can subpoena bank records they can follow the money they can polygraph witnesses to these events
00:54:54it is true that we've been hard on them and the prosecutors in this podcast because of the things we've learned and because the case needs a different perspective our hope is that they will both investigate or reinvestigate these leaves and also let the public know just what happens as a result rather than stand behind the usual veil of secrecy that has produced no results to date
00:55:20if for no other reason his family his colleagues and his friends deserve to know the truth behind who killed Tom whales
00:55:36The Forest game do you ever feel the same way true and evolving Story the investigation into the murder of Tom Wales remains open is both a high priority of the justice department and US Jodi and I will continue investigating and Reporting on this story as developments warrant but for now we're going to take some time and regroup and see what more we can learn if you are subscribed to this podcast new episodes will automatically download to your phone I will also post updates on the somebody somewhere Facebook and Twitter pages so please join us there
00:56:20I want to thank the many people who have helped make this podcast to reality and the inaugural production of rain stream media Incorporated a collaboration between myself your host David Payne and Jody Watley starting with special thanks to Kendall and Hailey Payne for their marketing voice over and musical support the full version of Halley's original song and score for the podcast cold is available on iTunes and will be played right after the credits thank you also to dysfunction Snowflake and the grapes for providing fantastic music under the Creative Commons license for their songs democrazy Foolish Game and I don't know
00:57:01sound design editing and mixing has been provided by resonate recordings every week Dayton Colby and Jacob knocked it out of the park for us we couldn't have done it without them check them out resume recordings. Com special things are also due to Mitch Gelman stew Pearson Tom kokonowski Parker Mason Todd Bishop in a t McGuire and lastly we want to thank Kathy pain for putting up with Jody and me for the past 9 months as we have waited deeper and deeper into this mystery and for being a hundred percent supportive even when it looks like we were way over or skis if you have any information regarding the Tom Wheels case please contact us bureau website SBS W podcast.com thank you for listening
00:57:51The Forest game
00:58:28and you choose not
00:58:43The Chew jessore
01:00:04Jennifer Leon.
01:00:09She will just do until
01:01:03Angela

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