The Profiling Project, a group of current and former George Washington University forensic psychology graduate students and instructors, has released its preliminary findings of an investigation into the murder of former DNC staffer Seth Rich.
Rich was shot July 19, 2016, while walking not far from his home in Washington, D.C. and later died of his injuries. The D.C. Metropolitan Police Department has been investigating the homicide—one of 66 unsolved murders in 2016—as a robbery gone wrong.
The Profiling Project, however, shot that theory down. And, pending review of toxicology reports, their report also shoots down, figuratively, theories that Rich was murdered by the Russians, by operatives of the Democratic Party or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's campaign as a result of his involvement in leaking sensitive information to WikiLeaks.
The group said it began its parallel investigation to aid DCMPD in the hope of providing actionable evidence or information to assist its own investigation. And, after three months of review, here's what they found:
- Rich's death does not appear to be a random homicide
- Rich's death does not appear to be a robbery gone bad
- Rich's death was more likely committed by a hired killer or serial murderer
- There may be additional video surveillance of the crime and crime scene
- The resolution of prosecuting the individual(s) responsible appears to be hindered both actively and passively
- Rich's killer(s) most likely remains free within the community
The report narrative states, in part:
The crime scene does not appear to have any behavior by the Offender to give insight into why [they] shot Seth. If Offender actively managed the crime scene, intentionally leaving no evidence or insight, Offender may be an experienced, sophisticated criminal with in-depth knowledge of law-enforcement procedures. Such an Offender would lend to the notion that Seth was targeted, as the experienced criminal would leave little to chance. With little to no knowledge of Seth's physical capabilities, the impulsive Offender most likely would have selected a more desirable victim.
That Seth was one of only a handful of non-African descent homicides in D.C., consideration was given to the idea that this could have been a race-motivated attack, however, the crime-scene does not support this theory, as all indications are that this crime was very impersonal and potentially simply "passing by."
Due to the seemingly impersonal nature of the crime scene, consideration was also given to drive-by shooting. Ballistic information would have to be reviewed to understand how and from where Seth was shot.
We believe there was only one shooter, with a possible observer. Much weight was given to the Benjamin Franklin quote "three can keep a secret if two of them are dead." That Offender has eluded law enforcement thus far, it is likely that few know the details around Seth's interaction with Offender.
We do not believe Offender is a robber nor a robber who killed. Offender had the ability to kill and brought with them an instrument to do so. Though we do not know what other items Seth may have had in his possession, his watch, phone, wallet and necklace were not stolen. Nor was Seth's body reported to have been further accosted or degraded. With such a sanitized crime scene and no emotional indications, this is not Offenders first kill.
Click here to read the entire report.