AMES, Iowa (GPI) -- Sure to throw a pall over Mitt Romney's win of the Iowa Republican straw poll, critically acclaimed investigative reporter, Ken Wolfson was found dead here early Sunday. Area police suspect foul play.
Shot in the mouth by a single .45 caliber bullet, Wolfson was found on the Iowa State University campus where thousands gathered Saturday for the Republican presidential primary straw poll. A University grounds keeper found the body at about 5:15 AM Sunday morning laid out neatly near the Fountain of the Four Seasons. A pistol was in Wolfson's right hand.
Story County coroner, Dr. William D. Turnbridge, had first pronounced the death a "suicide." However, within hours the Ames Crime Scene Investigation Unit described the scene as “suspicious." Death was caused by one fatal shot to the head where two bullets had apparently been fired. No bullet casings or any blood was found at the scene. Also, Wolfson's cell phone, blackberry and notes were all missing. Sources say that the only thing found on the body was a copy of the book "Ultimate Severance."
Contacted in New York, Wolfson’s associate and companion, Cynthia van Hoover, said Wolfson had flown to Ames last week to follow up a “hot tip phone call from Dubai” after running into a series of “roadblocks” with the investigation of the Ultimate Severance murders.
Wolfson's most recent stories chronicled a joint operation between the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security where Saudi national, Dr. Ali al-Aboukar aka Hamid al-Sammara, had been taken in custody in connection with the murders of Pasquel Valentine and Al Tate. The Public Relations execs are alleged to have collected millions of dollars in fees from nefarious international clients served through cut-off subsidiary PR firms. Doctor al-Aboukar, who sources say masterminded the elaborate cover up, was released last week after pressure from the Saudi government.
Ms. van Hoover vehemently disputed that Wolfson's death was a suicide. "He absolutely hated guns and was left-handed," she said.
Wolfson's career spanned more than 25 years. He began his career in the late 1980s at the infamous San Francisco alternative paper, People's Gazette; and in 1986, joined the Financial News Network as director of investigative reporting. In 1993 Ken gained national notoriety for his investigation into the pharma industry which was the subject of the Academy-Award-nominated documentary film "Dr. Feel Good." Wolfson, co-founder of the Stamford Center for Investigative Journalism, is also the recipient of numerous Emmys and other honors, including three Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University silver and golden Baton awards, two Peabodys and a Polk Award.
Results of the autopsy are expected later this week. Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.
Stamford, Conn. – The “Ultimate Severance” PR murder probe took a bizarre twist late Sunday when it was learned that a 32-year old Saudi gynecologist, Dr. Ali al-Aboukar aka Hamid al-Sammara, presently being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp on Cuba, is now being questioned by the FBI in connection with this evolving case.
Sources say that Dr. Ali has confessed to being the mastermind behind the cover up of the 2002 murders of Pasquel Valentine and Al Tate, principles of the high-level PR strategy consultancy Valentine-Tate, Inc. of Stamford Connecticut. It is now known that the firm had collected millions of dollars in fees from dubious clients served through cut-off subsidiary PR firms.
Ali entered the United States in 1996 after being hired by Rosen Family Health Associates, a public health clinic in Newark. Dr. Ali apparently never reported for work and dropped off the immigration watch screen until last year when he was taken into custody following a raid on Qusayr Amra, a Muslim bath house in Hoboken. Sources have now confirmed that the bath house was a front for an Al-Qaeda terrorist cell.
After his arrest, authorities are reported to have found a “treasure trove” of leads on Dr. Ali’s laptop computer. Data is reported to include emails tying Dr. Ali to several of Valentine-Tate cut-off PR firms and cryptic text messages promising support to various mainstream Democratic political organizations.
Investigators continue to note the increasing number of parallels between the Valentine-Tate murders and the novel, “Ultimate Severance” by author James Baar. In the book, following the mob murder of two top PR executives, their global agency also appoints a certain Hamid al-Sammara as Senior Vice President of Media Relations. Contacted for comment, Baar insists his “Hamid” is purely fictional. “There are a lot of Hamids in the Baghdad phone book,” Baar said.
Ken Wolfson is an award-winning freelance investigative reporter.
STORY UPDATE 6:37 AM EDT
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