- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Unsolved mystery: Who shot Israeli military attache Joseph Alon outside home in D.C. suburb?
Question of the Day
Within 48 hours of Alon’s murder, his body and family were sent home on Air Force Two, reportedly at the behest of President Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
At a memorial service, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan blamed Arab terrorists for Alon’s death. After determining that the killing was neither a botched robbery nor a crime of passion, the Federal Bureau of Investigation focused on Black September, a Palestinian terrorist group responsible for the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.
In March 1973, Black September attempted to set off three car bombs in New York during a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, part of a clandestine war of targeted killings between the Jewish state and its Arab enemies.
Despite an extensive investigation that reportedly involved running down a 90-person list of people classified as terrorists, checking out leads supplied by Israeli intelligence, and looking into Arab faculty and students at Washington-area universities, the FBI was unable to locate a murder weapon, develop a suspect or make a single arrest.
In 1976, the agency officially closed the case.
“Back then, there was no DNA, no computers, no cellphones,” Mr. Burton said. “The original FBI case agent had never investigated a murder before. The local agents were busy running Watergate leads and leads on ‘Hoover subversives.’ The police and the FBI were not equipped to investigate this kind of attack.”
A mystery deepens
“I must have drove by the house a hundred times, just thinking about what happened, tracing how I thought the bad guys got away,” he said. “I grew up on those streets. It stuck with me.”
Still, the killing haunted him. He signed on with the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad — the same unit that had transported Alon to nearby Suburban Hospital — and then became a police officer, regularly discussing the case with his colleagues.
In the mid-1980s, Mr. Burton joined the counterterrorism division of the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service. Busy investigating embassy bombings and airline hijackings, he nevertheless began looking into Alon’s death — and amid a series of dead ends and deceased possible sources, he was stunned to discover that in 1977 the FBI destroyed all evidence in the case, including the fatal copper-jacketed bullet.
Like Mr. Burton, Alon’s widow also had been searching for answers. Atop a piano inside her family’s living room in Israel, Mrs. Alon kept a shrine to her departed spouse. Photos. Military medals. A single fresh rose, perpetually replaced and in bloom.
“You felt my father’s presence when you came home,” Ms. Alon-Rosenschein said. “Always. You couldn’t miss it.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Patrick Hruby is an award-winning journalist who holds degrees from Georgetown and Northwestern. He also contributes to ESPN.com and The Atlantic Online, and his work has been featured in The Best American Sports Writing. Follow him on Twitter (@patrick_hruby) and contact him at PatrickHruby.net.
- Taking to Twitter: Everybody's Oscar night in 140 characters
- Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin cry foul at WWE Tea Party stereotypes
- Oscar Pistorius and the 'roid rage' defense: It's no Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card
- Spatial media: Astronaut Chris Hadfield live chats from 220 miles above earth
- Hero-worship for a cold-blooded killer: The cult of Christopher Dorner
TWT Video Picks
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- LYONS: Small-arms treaty, big Second Amendment threat
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq