Was Woody Threatened?
Many of Woody's friends believe that he was threatened some time before he entered the church on December 2. What is the basis for that belief? There is a body facts which, when taken together, lend considerable support to the theory that Woody was threatened prior to his arrival at the church, and that threat or threats were the reason for his request for political asylum there. These facts fall into three categories:
- Eyewitness evidence about Woody's encounters with authorities prior to the church incident.
- Woody's behavior and actions in the church as recounted by church eyewitnesses, and understood within the context of the person his close friends knew him to be.
- The public behavior of Vermont state authorities involved in the killing and the official 'investigation' of it.
Facts in the second category support the theory Woody was threatened on the basis of Woody's singular stability and his inability to lie. Whereas people without the benefit of having known him may be able to easily dismiss his claims and behavior of December 2 as delusional, those with that privilege don't have that luxury. Woody's claims, according to eyewitnesses, included that the CIA was pursuing him, that he had received threats against himself and friends, and that he expected to be tortured and killed if apprehended. There is agreement among eyewitnesses that Woody appeared agitated and frightened.
Facts in the third category do not individually indicate Woody was threatened, but taken as a whole they show a pattern of official misbehavior which is consistent with if not demonstrative of Woody's claims. These facts range from the ferocity of the attack on Woody, to the apparent delays in medical treatment, to the extraordinary measures taken by Sorrell and others to suppress information, to the efforts by the Attorney General's office to discredit and hide what Woody was saying.