Holder in Seattle To Push AUSA Murder Investigation
By Samuel Knight | September 28, 2011 12:28 pm

Former AUSA Thomas Wales (FBI)

It’s been almost 10 years since Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Wales was killed by a gunman in his Seattle home.

The crime remains unsolved.

And Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder traveled to Seattle in an attempt to help reinvigorate the investigation.

“Nearly 10 years ago, Tom – a dedicated public servant, a committed advocate, and a loving father and friend – was tragically murdered in his own home.  Although this case remains unsolved, and Tom’s killer remains unknown, our resolve to uncover the truth – and to help Tom’s family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors find the answers and the closure that they deserve – has never been stronger,” Holder said in prepared remarks.

Holder was expected to appear with Jenny Durkan, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington, FBI agents and Wales’ son and daughter to make a public appeal for information and to reiterate DOJ’s commitment to solving the murder..

“Primarily, what we’re hoping to do is spark a memory that someone may have around the time of the murder,” Gregory Fowler, a Portland based FBI agent working on the case, told Seattle Times reporters.

The National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys also said in August that it was considering raising money to increase the $1 million reward already offered by the FBI for information leading to the arrest of Wales’ murderer.

Wales, 49 at the time of his death, was killed in his Seattle home at around 10:40 p.m. on Oct. 11, 2001. No one witnessed the shooting.

Investigators had identified James Anderson, a Washington pilot that Wales had investigated, as a possible suspect.

This led investigators to believe that the murder might be work-related, which would make Wales the first federal prosecutor targeted for his position.

Wales was also an outspoken advocate of gun control – not in the realm of party politics, as federal law forbids – which, investigators initially thought, might have also made him a target.

According to the New Yorker, the investigation was hampered from the onset by the timing of the murder (a month after the attacks on September 11, 2001), an initial lack of attention paid by high -anking FBI officials, and the fact that many local prosecutors and investigators had to recuse themselves from the case.


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