THE STRANGE DEATH OF JERRY PARKS AND EVEN STRANGER DEATH OF DR DAVID MILLSTEIN
In September 1993, just two months after the death of Vince Foster, Clinton campaign security operative Jerry Parks was shot and killed in Little Rock in a gang style slaying. The story received virtually no attention save for a few journals including the Progressive Review. The murder remains unsolved.
Now word comes that the man whom Park's widow, Lois Jane Parks, later married - Dr David Millstein - has also been murdered by an assailant with a knife and police are investigating.
One might easily jump to certain obvious hypotheses but nothing about this matter is clear cut. For example:
- The local Arkansas police have called in not only the state police but the FBI. They speak of an extensive investigation.
- The children of Jerry Parks are in violent and public disagreement over their father's death. One stepdaughter, for example, believes vehemently that her stepmother and brother Gary are not to be trusted.
- The local police seem to be treating this as something more than a simple homicide.
Should either of these murders be solved it may finally close a chapter of the Arkansas-Clinton sagas or it may become part of the 2008 election. In the meantime, be careful about drawing conclusions. The story is not over.
ARMANDO RIOS, BAXTER BULLETIN - A state medical examiner has ruled Dr. David Millstein died of multiple stab wounds and ruled his death a homicide, police said Wednesday afternoon. In addition, police served a search warrant at an undisclosed location. Police found Millstein's body at his home at 1707 Stephen Court at 9:45 p.m. Sunday after being asked to check on his well-being. Millstein had missed a weekend appointment. . .
Millstein was married and his wife lives in the Little Rock area, Manuel said, adding no one else was at the house when officers arrived Sunday night. . .
The murder investigation has broadened in scope, with additional Arkansas State Police agents in other areas conducting interviews. "Agents from the Arkansas State Police assigned to areas outside Baxter County are conducting interviews statewide," Manuel added. . .
A massive amount of information is being received, including written documents and electronic information through interviews and phone calls, Manuel said. He declined to specify what type of electronic information investigators were gathering. . .
RICHARD HESTER, KTLO - Two more search warrants have been served in connection with the murder investigation of Mountain Home physician David Millstein and authorities continue to receive and investigate a large amount of information. During a press conference today, Mountain Home Police Chief Carry Manuel revealed that local police investigators, assisted by the Arkansas State Police from Little Rock, and the FBI searched a residence and a vehicle at undisclosed locations over the long Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Although authorities won't say where the warrants were served, Chief Manuel says the investigation has been confined to Arkansas. . . Manuel declined to comment on how the FBI is involved in the case but said they have expertise in several areas that would be beneficial to investigators. . .
Chief Manuel confirmed there has been some limited conversation between Mountain Home investigators and Little Rock police. Millstein, who moved to Mountain Home seven years ago from Searcy, was married to Lois Parks who lives in the Little Rock area. Parks' previous husband, Luther Gerald "Jerry" Parks Jr., who was shot to death in west Little Rock in 1993 at the age of 47. Parks was driving home to Roland in rural Pulaski County when he was shot twice in the chest and once in the abdomen by someone who pulled up beside him. That murder remains unsolved. Manuel said Little Rock police might be interested in the Millstein case.
AMBROSE EVANS-PRICHARD, THE SECRET LIFE OF BILL CLINTON 1997 - "I'm a dead man," whispered Jerry Parks, pale with shock, as he looked up at the television screen. It was a news bulletin on the local station in Little Rock. Vincent Foster, a childhood friend of the President, had been found dead in a park outside Washington. Apparent suicide.
He never explained to his son Gary what he meant by that remark, but for the next two months the beefy 6' 3" security executive was in a state of permanent fear. He would pack a pistol to fetch the mail. On the way to his offices at American Contract Services in Little Rock he would double back or take strange routes to "dry-clean" the cars that he thought were following him. At night he kept tearing anxiously at his eyebrows, and raiding the valium pills of his wife, Jane, who was battling multiple sclerosis. Once he muttered darkly that Bill Clinton's people were "cleaning house," and he was "next on the list."
Two months later, in September 1993, Jerry and Jane went on a Caribbean cruise. He seemed calmer. At one of the islands he went to take care of some business at a bank. She believed it was Grand Cayman. They returned to their home in the rural suburbs of Little Rock on September 25. The next day Jane was in one of her "down" periods, so Jerry went off on his own for the regular Sunday afternoon supper at El Chico Mexican Restaurant.
On the way back, at about 6:30 PM, a white Chevrolet Caprice pulled up beside him on the Chenal Parkway. Before Parks had time to reach for his .38 caliber "detective special" that he kept tucked between the seats, an assassin let off a volley of semi-automatic fire into his hulking 320 pound frame.
Parks skidded to a halt in the intersection of Highway 10. The stocky middle-aged killer jumped out and finished him off with a 9 mm handgun-- two more shots into the chest at point blank range. Several witnesses watched with astonishment as the nonchalant gunman joined his accomplice in the waiting car and sped away. . .
Gary then said that his father had been collecting files on Bill Clinton. "Working on his infidelities," he said, grinning. "It had been going on for years. He had enough to impeach Bill Clinton on the spot."
At some point in 1988, when he was about 17, he had accompanied Jerry on four or five nocturnal missions. Armed with long range surveillance cameras, they would stake out the haunts of the Governor until the early hours of the morning. Quapaw Towers was one of them, he remembered. That was where Gennifer Flowers lived.
It was a contract job, Gary believed, but he did not know who was paying for the product. Some of the material was kept in two files, stored in the bottom drawer of the dresser in his parents' bedroom. He had sneaked in one day, terrified that his father might catch him, and flicked through the papers just long enough to see photos of women coming and going with Governor Clinton, and pages of notes in his father's handwriting. . .
In late July 1993 the family house on Barrett Road was burgled in a sophisticated operation that involved cutting the telephone lines and disarming the electronic alarm system. The files were stolen. Gary suspected that this was somehow tied to his father's death two months later. . .
[Jane Parks] revealed that Jerry Parks had carried out sensitive assignments for the Clinton circle for almost a decade, and the person who gave him his instructions was Vince Foster. It did not come as a total shock. I already knew that there was some kind of tie between the two men. Foster's brother-in-law, Lee Bowman, told me long ago that Vince had recommended Jerry Parks for security work in the mid-1980s. "I was struck by how insistent he was that Parks was a 'man who could be trusted,'" said Bowman, a wealthy Little Rock stockbroker. . .
Jerry, in turn, "respected Vince Foster more than anybody else in the world." It was a strange, clandestine relationship. Foster called the Parks home more than a hundred times, identifying himself with the code name, "The Congressman." . . .
By the late 1980s Vince trusted Parks enough to ask him to perform discreet surveillance on the Governor. "Jerry asked him why he needed this stuff on Clinton. He said he needed it for Hillary," recalled Jane. . .
Later, during the early stages of the presidential campaign, Parks made at least two trips to the town of Mena, in the Ouachita Mountains of western Arkansas. Mena had come up in conversations before. Jane told me that Parks had been a friend of Barry Seal, a legendary cocaine smuggler and undercover U.S. operative who had established a base of operations at Mena airport. Parks had even attended Seal's funeral in Baton Rouge after Seal was assassinated by Colombian pistoleros in February 1986.
One of the trips was in 1991, she thought, although it could have been 1992. The morning after Jerry got back from Mena she borrowed his Lincoln to go to the grocery store and discovered what must have been hundreds of thousands of dollars in the trunk. "It was all in $100 bills, wrapped in string, layer after layer. It was so full I had to sit on the trunk to get it shut again," she said.
"I took a handful of money and threw it in his lap and said, 'Are you running drugs?' Jerry said Vince had paid him $1000 cash for each trip. He didn't know what they were doing, and he didn't want to know either, and nor should I. He told me to forget what I'd seen.". . .
Contact with Foster was rare after he moved to the White House. But he telephoned in mid-July 1993, about a week before his death. He explained that Hillary had worked herself into a state about "the files," worried that there might be something in them that could cause real damage to Bill or herself. The conversation was brief and inconclusive. Jerry told Vince Foster that there was indeed "plenty to hurt both of them. But you can't give her those files, that was the agreement." Jerry did not seem too perturbed at the time.
A few days later Foster called again. . .
"You're not going to use those files!" said Jerry angrily. Foster tried to soothe him. He said he was going to meet Hillary at "the flat" and he was going to give her the files. "You can't do that," said Parks. "My name's all over this stuff. You can't give Hillary those files. You can't! Remember what she did, what you told me she did. She's capable of doing anything!"
"We can trust Hil. Don't worry," said Foster. . .
The rambler-style home of the Parks family was swarming with federal agents on the day after Jerry's assassination. Jane remembers men flashing credentials from the FBI, the Secret Service, the IRS, and, she thought, the CIA. Although the CIA made no sense. Nothing made any sense. The federal government had no jurisdiction over a homicide case, and to this day the FBI denies that it ever set foot in her house.
But the FBI was there, she insisted, with portable X-ray machines and other fancy devices. An IRS computer expert was flown in from Miami to go through Jerry's computers. Some of them stayed until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. The men never spoke to Jane or tried to comfort her. The only conversation was a peremptory request for coffee. . .
With the help of the Little Rock Police Department the FBI ransacked the place, confiscating files, records, and 130 tapes of telephone conversations--without giving a receipt. "I've asked them to give it all back, but the police refuse to relinquish anything. They told me there's nothing they can do about the case as long as Bill Clinton is in office.". . .
I do not pretend to understand why Jerry Parks was murdered. But the indications that the Parks case is somehow intertwined with the death of Vincent Foster is surely compelling enough to warrant a proper investigation. Instead, nobody cares to learn what Mrs. Parks has to say.
THE SECRET LIFE OF BILL CLINTON
PHILIP WEISS, MONDO WEISS - In Little Rock in 1996, for the New York Times Magazine, I interviewed a Clinton hater named Gary Parks. Parks was a former auto salesman and something of a troubled youth. He'd kicked around, he'd had physical injury. His dad had been murdered: Luther "Jerry" Parks, a former state cop, who had been head of security for the Clinton headquarters in Little Rock during the presidential campaign in 1992, had been murdered less than a year after the election. This is incredible and true: Two months after Vince Foster dies, Jerry Parks, Clinton's former security aide, is slain gangland style, with a semiautomatic handgun, his car shot up in West Little Rock. The media didn't touch it, and they were allowed to drop it. . .
It was [Gary] Parks' assertion that his late father and Vince Foster had once investigated Clinton's affairs at Hillary's behest. He said that Vince Foster had called up his father, who was working as a private investigator, to look into Clinton's romantic life in about 1980, after Bill Clinton had lost the governor's office following his first term. Parks said Hillary wanted a divorce. It looked like maybe the juggernaut she'd believed in, and married, was over. . . In the early 80s, Parks said, Hillary asked her law partner Vince Foster to prepare a divorce case and Foster called Parks, who compiled a dossier of women's statements. Parks said that Hillary later decided against a divorce, but that his father held on to the dossier. Then in 1993, Parks said, after Vince Foster went to Washington, he demanded the return of the file, and even called Jerry Parks in the days before his, Foster's, death, to demand it. And that two months later his father was murdered, because, Parks said, he had held out on returning the file. . .
Myself, I think I might forgive Hillary her connection to these events. They were so long ago, she was hitched to Bill's horse. She's done a lot on her own since. She's been gutsy and strong on her own two feet. She has great presence. But I don't think we know all the facts about this case, and people are going to bring it up and ask about it. Real baggage.
CHRISTOPHER RUDDY, NEWSMAX, 1998 - The following is the verbatim grand jury testimony of Linda Tripp from her July 28 appearance before the grand jury. . .
Juror: But do you have any examples of violence being done by the administration to people who were a threat to them that allowed you to come to the conclusion that that would happen to you as well?
Tripp: I can go - if you want a specific, a personal specific, the behavior in the West Wing with senior staff to the President during the time the Jerry Parks came over the fax frightened me.
Juror: Excuse me, Jerry Parks?
Tripp: He was one of the - if not the head of his [Clinton's] campaign security detail in Arkansas, then somewhere in the hierarchy of the security arrangements in Arkansas during the '92 campaign. And based on the flurry of activity and the flurry of phone calls and the secrecy, I felt this was somewhat alarming.
Juror: I don't understand.
Tripp: I don't know what else to say.
Juror: Meaning that you were alarmed at his death or at what people [in the White House] said? Or did you have knowledge that he had been killed or -
Tripp: He had been killed. I didn't even at this point remember how but it was the reaction at the White House that caused me concern, as did Vince Foster's suicide. None [sic] of the behavior following Vince Foster's suicide computed to just people mourning Mr. Foster. It was far more ominous than that and it was extremely questionable behavior on the parts of those who were immediately involved in the aftermath of his death. So - I mean I don't know how much more I can be specific except to say I am telling you under oath today that I felt endangered and I was angry and I resented it and I still do. . .
Juror: I'm sorry. We were talking the incident that happened and how the people were acting at the White House and you said they were acting strange. Can you give us some examples of what you saw to draw that conclusion? What are some of the examples? You said they were not acting as if someone had just passed or whatever, something was strange. What were the strange things?
Tripp: It replicated [referring to the Parks murder, apparently] in my mind some of the behavior following the death [sic] of Vince Foster. A fax came across the fax machine in the counsel's office from someone within the White House, and I think it was from Skip Rutherford, who was working in the Chief of Staff's office at the time [September 1994]. At the same time the fax was coming, phone calls were coming up to Bernie Nussbaum which precipitated back and forth meetings behind closed doors, all with - you know, we have to have copies of this fax and it was - an article, it came over the wire, I think, I can't remember now, but I think we actually have that somewhere, of this death, this murder or whatever it was [referring to the Parks death]. And it created a stir, shall we say, in the counsel's office which brought up some senior staff from the Chief of Staff's office up to the counsel's office where they, from all appearances, went into a meeting to discuss this. It was something that they chose not to speak about.
THE FAMILY DISPUTE