Death of White House lawyer still a mystery

FEDERAL investigators turned yesterday to the grieving family of deputy White House legal advisor, Vincent Foster, in search of an explanation for his death by apparent suicide in a suburban Washington park early last week.

Mr Foster was buried on Friday in an emotional ceremony in Hope, Arkansas, attended by his boyhood friend President Bill Clinton and scores of other national and state government dignatories. But it remains a mystery why Mr Foster, who was 48, would have taken his own life.

At a service in the St Andrew's Cathedral in Hope, President Clinton offered a eulogy to his lifelong friend, characterising him as a 'complicated person', whose complexity made him 'more interesting, but no less admirable'.

Concluding his address, the President cited lyrics from the 1960s rock singer, Leon Russell: 'I love you in a place that has no space or time. I love you for my life. You are a friend of mine.' And he added: 'Go well, my friend, and Godspeed.'

While investigators of the Park Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have confirmed that the circumstances of the death appear to be 'consistent with suicide', no motive has been established, nor is there any clear picture of Mr Foster's movements in his final hours. The possibility that he was murdered has not been publicly ruled out.

The investigators said they had deferred to the grief of Mr Foster's family and friends by delaying detailed interviews with them until after the funeral. In particular, they are anxious to establish the ownership of the antique handgun lying close to the body.

Mr Foster was discovered near his car early on Tuesday evening in a park on the outskirts of the capital. He had been killed by a bullet fired into the mouth. He was last seen alive by colleagues in the White House about five hours earlier.

The only explanation that Mr Foster's friends and relatives could come up with was that he had been depressed about the fortunes of the Clinton administration, and in particular about press criticism of his role in the bungled sacking in May of the White House travel staff.

Some newspapers, led by the Wall Street Journal, have also questioned the dominant presence in the administration's legal staff of friends and former colleagues from Hillary Clinton's Rose Law Firm in Little Rock. The so-called 'four-partner' team included Mr Foster, Associate Attorney-General Webster Hubbell, Associate White House Counsel William Kennedy and Mrs Clinton herself. For the first time, the White House press spokeswoman, Dee Dee Myers, has acknowledged that Mr Foster had appeared to be withdrawn before his death. 'People had noticed he was down and were worried about him,' she commented.

The Washington Times yesterday quoted a 'family source' as suggesting that Mr Foster's calm exterior over recent weeks had in fact been a 'porcelain shell', concealing a person torn apart by self-doubt about his new position in Washington. 'Close friends told him to cool things and relax, and not take things so personal,' the source was cited as saying.

(Photograph omitted)

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
fashion
News
news
Travel
Warner Bros released a mock-up of what the new Central Perk will look like
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
News
i100
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Web Application Support Manager

£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reigate...

** Secondary Maths Teacher Required In Liverpool **

£120 - £165 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...

Year 5 Teacher

£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 5 Primary Teacher...

** Cover Supervisor Ugently Required In Sefton Area **

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunity for Secondary...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments