The Federal Criminal Case
The Elusive Investigation by the FBI and DOJ
On July 26th, 2002, the Brattleboro Reformer reported that the FBI would conduct a probe of the shooting. The investigation would focus on whether the shooters, Holbrook and Parker criminally violated Woody's civil rights. Might the FBI expose the state's 'investigation' for the whitewash that it is? How ironic it would be if one of the very government agencies Woody was so terrified of on the day he was killed were to advance the cause of justice in this case.
In the five months between that time and the announcement by John Kavanagh, FBI supervisor for Vermont, that his office had completed the preliminary investigation one would be hard-pressed to find any evidence that the FBI had actually conducted an investigation. Apparently the FBI conducted no interviews with eyewitnesses. Calls to the Vermont FBI office by Justice for Woody members who had information based on their independent investigation were not returned.
As long as the FBI's alledged investigation continued, the Woodywards' attorneys were barred from taking depositions from the defendents. This was the second delay of the civil case since discovery was also blocked for the duration of Sorrell's 'investigation'.
Finally, on April 11, 2003, the Justice Department closed it's alleged probe, announcing that no charges would be filed against the killers. U.S. Attorney Peter Hall, who announced the decision, gave the public nothing to indicate that the FBI had ever seriously looked into the case. He refused to give the Brattleboro Reformer any documents indicating what work, if any, they had done on the case; and declined to specify what evidence the decision was based on. Months earlier his office did not even return phonecalls from members of the public who claimed to have evidence about the case. Apparently, FBI conducted no interviews of the witnesses.