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Unsolved Mysteries Volume 2 Recap: Washington Insider Murder

The second volume of Unsolved Mysteries begins with the episode Washington Insider Murder, which dives into the case of former White House aide Jack/John Wheeler. He was found in a landfill by police, leading to an investigation into how and why he died.

 

After looking into some footage from the discovery, Michael Lawson, who is a former detective in the area, discusses finding Jim’s body, right down to the West Point ring he was wearing. He knew at this point it was no typical homicide.

 

We also see news coverage from across the nation, as well as commentary from investigative journalist Steve Volk. There is a lot of coverage since he is a former aide for Presidents Reagan and Bush and a Vietnam veteran. Several friends and family members also share memories and all the things he accomplished throughout his life.

 

There is also discussion of his bipolar disorder and how it impacted his life.

 

Jack’s wife Katherine Klyce talks about their life together and how he put his all into everything that he did. His stepdaughter Meriwether Schas echoes this sentiment.

 

His friend Jan talks about how everyone loved him and that he will never be the same. There is a universal shock that he was found at all, let alone in a landfill. Katherine recalls getting the phone call about his death and the discovery of his body. She goes on to talk about identifying his body and wondering how life can go on without him.

 

The news coverage speculates as to whether or not there was a hit put out on him and how the work he was doing may have contributed to his death. He had a lot of government contacts, worked for a defense conferencing firm and cyber security. However, there is no way to find a real connection to his work and his death.

 

His neighbor Robert Dill recalls having him as a neighbor, calling him an interesting character. He remembers seeing his window and door open around the time everything happened and how the kitchen was a state of turmoil. This led to him calling the police at the time his body was found in the landfill.

 

More news coverage talks about more clues that were found, including his lost cell phone and smoke bombs going off in his neighborhood around the time of his death/body being found. There is more discussion as to what could have happened, as well as more news coverage.

 

The family recalls spending what would be their last Christmas with him and how he went back to DC for work right after. His wife and stepdaughter recall being annoyed that he was missing out on family time.

 

We see a reenactment on the train, using his phone as investigators try to put together a timeline that includes him working and going to his house in New Castle the day of the smoke bomb incident. Things come to a halt when they realize he lost his phone and now they have to rely on witness statements. He is also missing other items, including his briefcase.

 

There is video of him inside a pharmacy trying to get a ride to Wilmington. Once he got to the train station he needed, he ends up in the wrong garage and cannot find his car. Meriwether and Katherine say this is not unusual since he is directionally challenged.

 

There is more footage of him in the garage looking agitated and only wearing one shoe. Everyone seems to find the footage to be unusual and haunting. There is speculation as to what was happening and if it was due to his bipolar disorder or a different reason.

 

Twenty hours later, there is more footage, which is retraced by investigators. He is in some sort of business with alleyways, a gym and other places. There is nothing to connect Jack to the building, but they conclude he may have been wanting to go into hiding.

The final footage of him is in the DuPont Hotel.

 

Katherine recalls trying to reach him and how she was worried when she was unable to get ahold of him. She didn’t want to believe or imagine that something could have happened.

 

Mike Grabowski, who worked as a commercial trash truck driver, recalls finding Jack’s body on New Years Eve 2010. He recalls asking his coworkers to cover him up while they waited for the police.

 

After an investigation, it was determined the trash found by his body was from Newark, so their police department needed to be notified. Now everyone is wondering how he got to Newark.

 

There is a witness that claimed to have shared a taxi with him, but it is unclear if it is reliable.

 

Investigators talk to trash truck drivers who say that it is common for people to hide in dumpsters, leading to them to wonder if he wandered into a dumpster.

 

The autopsy report had several severe injuries, including bleeding, broken ribs and a collapsed lung. This determines the cause of death to be blunt force trauma and a homicide.

 

It also turns out there was a housing dispute by where he lived in Battery Park. They think he could have gone into a bipolar rage due to it on top losing his phone, but don’t think it connects to his death. They also dispute the robbery theory, but are trying to figure out where his belongings are. Even though his phone was found, his briefcase is still missing. Another witness claims he reported it missing, but did not go into specifics. The investigators hope to get more information to help solve the case….or at least give them closure.

 

The episode ends with Katherine looking back on his life, as well as his military funeral. Meriwether also shares her memories of Jack. The show also gives information on where to send any tips.

 

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