Criminal Justice

Police Search for Clues, Seek Public's Help, in Slaying of Ex-GOP Official and Yale Law Grad


Police are searching for clues and seeking the public’s help in the slaying of a Yale Law School graduate who served in the administrations of three Republican presidents.

After a spotter assigned to prevent illegal material from being dumped at a Delaware landfill saw the body of John Wheeler III falling out of a truck on New Year’s Eve, authorities were able to trace its route and determine that his body apparently had been picked up from one of 10 commercial trash bins in Newark. Although earlier news reports said the 66-year-old had last been seen in Wilmington after arriving Dec. 28 on an Amtrak train from Washington, D.C., the News Journal now says he was last seen at about 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 30 around 10th and Orange streets in Wilmington.

Investigators are asking the public to report any subsequent sightings.

Wheeler’s death has been ruled a homicide, although the precise cause hasn’t yet been determined. He and his wife lived in New Castle, near Wilmington, roughly midway between where her business is located, in New York, and Washington, where he did much of his work.

Credited with being one of the driving forces behind the construction of the Vietnam War memorial in Washington, D.C., Wheeler was a 1975 graduate of Yale Law School.

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Body of Murdered Ex-GOP Official, a Yale Law Grad, Is Found in Del. Landfill”

Swampland (Time): “John P. Wheeler III, 1944-2010”

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