Tuesday, January 4th 2011, 7:44 PM
The mystery of the murdered former Pentagon official found in a Delaware landfill on New Year’s Eve deepened on Tuesday as cops zeroed in on his final movements – but failed to locate a crime scene.
A passerby spotted Wheeler, who lived six miles away in New Castle, Del., at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in downtown Wilmington.
Sometime after that, his body was put into a commercial Dumpster in Newark, Del. – about 12 miles from his home and 15 miles from Wilmington. It fell into the landfill from a truck that picked up trash in Newark on Friday morning.
Police won’t say how he died.
* In Harlem, cops – with Wheeler’s distraught wife, Katherine Klyce, in tow – searched their W. 124th St. condo Monday night but left empty-handed, according to staff at the luxury building. Klyce, who runs a Cambodian textile business from the ninth-floor apartment, was traveling when her husband went missing.
This is the second time Klyce has been hit by a high-profile murder mystery. Her sister, Emily Klyce Fisher, a wealthy society woman in Memphis, was stabbed 50 times in her home in 1995. The killing was unsolved until 2003, when a TV show led to a friend of Fisher’s druggie son.
The family issued a statement asking for privacy.
* At Klyce and Wheeler’s New Castle home, reporters saw kitchen floorboards pried up while cops were searching. It wasn’t clear who pried them up – or why.
Cops said the house was not the murder scene. “We don’t have a crime scene,” said Newark Police Lt. Mark Farrall.
* Neighbor Ron Roark told The (Wilmington) News Journal that for four days over Christmas, he heard a TV blaring night and day inside Wheeler’s house, even though no one seemed to be home.
“It was so loud, we could hear it through the walls, and we found that strange,” Roark told the newspaper.
* Wheeler had an ongoing lawsuit against another neighbor, Frank Marini, who is building a home that would block Wheeler’s view.
On Tuesday, Dec. 28, a smoke bomb was thrown into the Marinis’ unfinished house. Cops say they don’t know if it is connected to Wheeler’s murder.
Wheeler, a defense contractor, was special assistant to the secretary of the Air Force from 2005 to 2008.
Death ruled a homicide
The body of a military expert who served in three Republican administrations was found dumped in a landfill over the holiday weekend, and investigators said Monday they do not know who might have killed him.
John Wheeler III, 66, was last seen Dec. 28 on an Amtrak train from Washington to Wilmington. His body was found three days later, on New Year’s Eve, as a garbage truck emptied its contents at the Cherry Island landfill. His death has been ruled a homicide.
Wheeler, who served in Vietnam, helped lead efforts to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington.
The former Army officer lived in New Castle and worked as a consultant for The Mitre Corporation, a nonprofit based in Bedford, Mass., and McLean, Va., that operates federally funded research and development centers.
Police have determined that all the stops made Friday by the garbage truck before it arrived at the landfill involved large commercial disposal bins in Newark, several miles from Wheeler’s home.
“He was just not the sort of person who would wind up in a landfill,” said Bayard Marin, an attorney who was representing Wheeler in a dispute over a couple’s plans to build a new home in the historic district of Old New Castle where the victim lived.
Wheeler, the son of a decorated Army officer, was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy. He retired from the military in 1971.
Wheeler served as a special assistant to the secretary of the Air Force under President George W. Bush, and in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He also was the first chief executive of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
As the first chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Wheeler led the multimillion-dollar fundraising effort to create the memorial on Washington’s National Mall.
Fund founder and president Jan Scruggs said Wheeler dedicated himself to ensuring that service members were given the respect they deserve.
“I know how passionate he was about honoring all who serve their nation, and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Scruggs said in a statement released Monday.
In a forward for the book, “Reflections On The Wall: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial,” Wheeler wrote that the beauty of the wall photos in the book comes from the black granite’s reflective quality.
“Before construction of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, those of us working on the project knew the wall would be shiny and reflective,” he wrote. “But no one anticipated the sharp, true, and expansive mirror quality of the wall. The high polish of the black granite surface reflects blue sky, green trees, the Washington Monument, the Capitol Dome, the Lincoln Memorial, and the expressive faces of visitors who approach the Wall.”
Wheeler’s military career included serving in the office of the secretary of defense and writing a manual on the effectiveness of biological and chemical weapons, which recommended that the United States not use biological weapons.
“He was a very humble kind of guy, actually,” Marin said. “He was never the kind of person who would talk about all the wonderful things he did in his life.”
John Wheeler was born on December 14th, 1944 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_P._Wheeler_III
December 14th, 1944
12 + 14 +2+0+1+0 = 29 = his personal year (from December 14th, 2010 to December 13th, 2011) = Cooperation. Teamwork.
29 year + 12 (December) = 41 = his personal month (from December 14th, 2010 to January 13th, 2011) = Nobody loves me.
41 month + 28 (28th of the month on Tuesday December 28th, 2010) = 69 = his personal day = Marked for death.