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May 2000

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THE WASHINGTON POST

April 29, 2000

 

Waco Siege Investigator Found Dead In His Home

By Cindy Loose

Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, April 29, 2000;

Page B03

[ NOT IN PRINT COPY ]

Carlos Ghigliotti, who had been retained by a U.S. House committee to help investigate the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Tex., was found dead in Laurel under unexplained circumstances yesterday.

"We're investigating it as a homicide," said Laurel police spokesman Jim Collins. Ghigliotti, 42, was found about 1:30 p.m. in the 600 block of Washington Boulevard. His body was badly decomposed, said police. There were no signs of a break-in or a struggle at the home, where Ghigliotti ran his business, Infrared Technologies Corp., police said. An expert in thermal imaging and videotape, Ghigliotti told the House Government Reform Committee in October that his analysis of tapes at Waco indicated that an FBI agent fired shots at the compound on April 19, the final day of the siege--a view disputed by the FBI.

Michael Caddell, lead lawyer in a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit stemming from the Waco siege, said last night that he recently had discussed the findings with Ghigliotti and intended to retain him--not only because his work was impressive but also because Caddell's first expert had suffered a stoke recently. Caddell said that two weeks ago he wrote to Waco Special Counsel John C. Danforth, urging that he interview Ghigliotti immediately. Caddell said he'd heard of Ghigliotti's death yesterday from Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), chair of the committee that retained Ghigliotti. Police called Burton, Caddell said, because his business card was found in Ghigliotti's pocket.

A building manager, concerned that no one had seen Ghigliotti for some weeks, contacted police, who found the body. Michael McNulty, who made a documentary film about Waco that was instrumental in reopening the investigation, said he had been looking forward to seeing Ghigliotti's conclusions. He added, "My impression is that the work he did was significant and important."

Ghigliotti's body was transported to the chief medical examiner's office in Baltimore for an autopsy.

Staff writer Richard Leiby contributed to this report.

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