Since the Clinton’s rise to political fame in the 1990s, various rumors surrounding their connections to mysterious deaths have been circulated. These claims assert that both Bill and Hillary Clinton have orchestrated the deaths of several acquaintances who supposedly had “dirt” on the family (Emery). The belief is mostly held by those of the opposing conservative party in efforts to further tarnish the family’s reputation. The conspiracy theory was brought up during Hillary Clinton’s 2008 and 2016 presidential campaigns. The original body count list is attributed Linda Thompson, a lawyer and conspiracy theorist of the American Justice Federation, an organization which has made its name by fabricating antigovernment stories (Weiss). Since its initial debut, the theory has been promoted through chain emails, novels, and documentaries.
The Clinton body count list draws ties to several suspicious deaths of the family’s allies and government officials. One of the most notable was the death of Vince Foster, former White House Counsel and colleague of Hillary at a Little Rock law firm. Foster’s death by a gunshot wound to the head was determined a suicide. Another death of longtime friend and business partner of the Clinton’s, James McDougal, raised eyebrows. McDougal suffered from a heart attack while in solitary confinement. When Ron Brown, Commerce Secretary, died in a random plane crash, theorists alleged that x-rays of Brown’s skull reveal bullet fragments. More tales follow similar formats, of those close to the Clintons dying in strange accidents. The timing of these accidents along with the vast and often veiled resources afforded to those in the executive branch makes it possible the Clintons were behind these events.
On the other hand, many argue that these systematic deaths are not systematic at all. For instance, the strange accidental manners of the death are not strange at all, since most deaths are accidental. In the case of Foster, his depression had been noted previously and therefore the suicide is not quite thatmysterious. There is also an argument made that a family as prominent as the Clintons have wide social circles, and therefore it increases the odds they will have some ties to the deceased person. Maybe the best argument against these claims is the question raised that if the Clinton’s could orchestrate a mass cover-up of these murders, why couldn’t they do the same of the Monica Lewinsky scandal that nearly ended Bill’s presidency?
A cognitive factor that may contribute to this belief is confirmation bias. This bias allows ambiguous evidence to be seen as supporting one’s prior beliefs. Those holding conservative values tend to distrust members on the opposing liberal side. These individuals will be more likely to perceive information that the Clintons are involved in a violent crime ring as true. Additionally, those who believe it are not only misinterpreting these events due to previous biases against the Clinton administration and Democratic party, but they are also misinformed by a distortion of the event facts. Several details of the suspicious deaths that have been circulated have failed to be corroborated.
The Clinton body count rumor mill began turning in the 1990s with the aid of those who opposed the administration and overall government. The power of opposition was also a determining factor in the theory’s revival during Hillary’s presidential campaign. With our country’s rising levels of party polarization, the public no longer attacks the policy practices of politicians, but also their character. The morality of Hillary Clinton was an important topic during her campaign. Focus on the use of her private email server and her decisions in Benghazi dominated her media coverage (Murphy). Under these social influences, accompanying rumors of a crime conspiracy could flourish.
It is no secret that our government keeps certain information hidden from its citizens. However, the notion that the Clinton administration engaged in the systematic murders of their political enemies is unlikely. The increasing party polarization of politics and internalized ill-will aimed at both Bill and Hillary Clinton is likely the culprit responsible for the conception and procreation of this conspiracy theory. Confirmation bias is a psychological tool that has also been used to place the vague pieces of information into an inaccurate puzzle. Thus, believers arrive at the conclusion that the Clintons must be behind the deaths of their acquaintances. But like the birther rumor that followed President Obama and suggestions that President Bush arranged 9/11, the Clinton body count list may just be another display of mistrust in powerful public figures.
Emery, D. (2018, July 19). Is There Any Truth to the ‘Clinton Body Count’ Rumors? Retrieved April 01, 2019, from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-clinton-body-count-4056792
FACT CHECK: Clinton Body Bags. (n.d.). Retrieved April 01, 2019, from https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/clinton-body-bags/
Murphy, T., Drum, K., Suebsaeng, A., Lanard, N., & Berman, A. (2017, June 24). The definitive guide to every Hillary Clinton conspiracy theory…so far. Retrieved April 01, 2019, from https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/hillary-clinton-conspiracy-theories/
Weiss, P. (1997, February 23). Clinton Crazy. Retrieved April 01, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/1997/02/23/magazine/clinton-crazy.html
21 thoughts on “Who Shot Ya? – The Clinton Body Count List”
I was listening to the My Favorite Murder podcast this morning on my commute, and, remarkably, Bill Clinton came up in regards to a corruption murder case/cover-up in Arkansas in the 1980s. It was called The Boys on the Tracks, and, more or less, it turned out that two young boys had witnessed a drug drop in a small town and were executed before being laid out on the train tracks to be run over by the overnight shipment. The police, district attorney, and medical examiner of the town were all “in on it” and the examiner had released several false reports of death over his career, including someone who was cleanly decapitated that he attributed to protracted chewing from his dog (gross image but I was incredulous hearing this). This medical examiner, upon increasing public scrutiny, was given a raise and promotion to the state medical board by then Governor Clinton. Bill Clinton’s mother, a nurse anesthetist, had been cleared of liability in the death of one of her patients by that same medical examiner. It made for a wild drive this morning, and this article from the Los Angeles Times in 1992 goes into things in further detail. Really interesting and sad.
What’s the name of the murder podcast you listen to?
I find this so interesting, because with every big politician you find crazy claims surrounding them. The Kennedy curse and the birthers surrounding Obama are just two examples, but there are so many! The polarizing views in politics could point to why people form these crazy theories. Confirmation bias then for sure plays into this, and allows people to seek out evidence that strengthens their claims. On the other hand though when you are in these big places of power, you do have more control, so I do see the possibility that things like this could happen. Do I believe that the Clinton’s hired these so called “hits”, not necessarily, but is it a possibility, maybe?
Days ago I just read the news that through investigation Donald Trump was free from Russian interference. So many people believe that he had some kind of relation to Russia that he is the spy of Vladimirovich Putin, the president of Russia. The conspiracy was saying Russia has interference in U.S. presidential campaign in 2016. Trump is the winner, and people who refused to accept this result made up many rumors and conspiracy to him. Your post reminds me that there are many commonplaces for these conspiracies, and it is these shared traits that help us to distinguish them from the truth.
Very interesting post here. I agree that had the Clinton’s been the individuals behind these deaths than Monica Lewinsky would have been a target. Possibly even dead. In politics confirmation biases really are present. Thus why so many people believe the Clinton’s actually kill people without much evidence to support the claim. Politics in general are very interesting to look at when thinking about bias. We see time and time again media outlets reporting theories as facts because it aligns with their political agenda. I like how you included that political figures in gernal seem to have crazy theories surrounding them.
I found this so crazy and fascinating to read. I had never heard of this theory before and found it really interesting how people will make connections to different events. I think its interesting that people will jump straight to “the clintons killed them” instead of “what a tragic accident or coincidence”.
Well no less than FIVE people working within the DNC or investigating the dnc voter fraud in Florida ended up dead. One may be okay, but 5 people, 3 of which were gunshots to the head or back? Certainly consider heavy duty life insurance before working for that party.
This theory reminds me of the theories regarding the Kennedy assassination and the string of deaths in that family. Why was James Mcdougal in solitary confinement? It is noteworthy to point out that many of their close friends die in strange ways, but one cannot jump to the conclusion that the Clintons’ agenda and these mysterious deaths are connected. Confirmation bias can be used to blame these deaths on any government motive, like undermining the political party.
Like the comment above me, this post reminded me of a similar story of power–speaking to the murder of Marilyn Monroe and the conspiracy theories surrounding her death. Theorists believe that JFK had her murdered in order to prevent his former mistress from leaking confidential government information to the public. I think these claims speak to the power, and often concealment of that power, that important government figures hold and choose to execute.
The thing that I find least compelling about this conspiracy is that there are still A LOT of the Clinton family’s strongest adversaries – including Trump – who still have plenty of power. If the Clintons were really dispatching their enemies at such a prolific rate, don’t you think that many of their enemies (including anyone involved with the Email Server scandal) would’ve been gotten rid of by now? I mean, if you’re going to start killing off your enemies, you might as well get rid of all of them, not just some!
Thats not a logical rebuttal. “Because they didnt kill ALL their potential enemies means they didnt kill some of them”?
This was a very interesting topic to chose for your blog post!! There are so many conspiracy theories that revolve around political figures and this one interested me when I came across your title. It definitely makes sense that opposing parties can try and dig up dirt on the other and these kind of stories can come out. In general, I think some people mistrust the government and the secrecy behind it, so it makes sense that there may be beliefs that “behind closed doors” there are things we do not know. An interesting point though in this post was that if they could pull off covering a murder, why did Bill’s affair come out? Definitely some things to think about!!
Its always very interesting to see how each political figures has some sort of rumor to discredit them from having a position of power. I think you brought up a good point that if they really were hiding a body count then how did they let the scandal of Monica Lewinsky get so much attention. It’s kind of sad that they would blame the Clinton’s over a man’s suicide. I feel like this kind of discredits mental health. (this is another topic however) I think at the end of the day, people of opposing parties or people who don’t even like a political candidate will believe anything negative about them to prove to others why they are correct.
Political figures are really easy to be judged and questioned, either alive and after death. Even now some people would question the real identity of presidents. But I don’t think people would really know these if the government really want to hide everything from the public site. Anyway, it’s really interesting to think the real person behind all these news.
I personally hold a skeptical view on this rumor. Everything message heard in the period of competition can be fabricated. Even Clinton really did these things, why she cannot cover the death of Poster and the bullet fragments in Brown’s skull? Also, the government definitely has the power to hide these scandals. I think this rumor can spread because of the different political position with Clinton such as the people from the opposite party, and they want to believe the things that are bad for Clinton.
I think it’s more likely a political means to attack opponents instead of extraordinary belief that being spread unintentionally. Making story about one’s private life is such bad but effective way to stain someone. Little angry now.
During the last election, my dad and I frequently questioned how many people the Clintons have probably killed over the years to remain this relevant in politics after the Monica Lewinski scandal. By misleading the public about the Benghazi attack and her lies to keep Bill’s trysts secret, the Clintons have much to hide. The fact that they are still together in general even though the cheating scandal was publicized around the world, could only mean both Bill and Hilary benefit from staying together and whatever has happened throughout their time together, can be hidden as long as they are married and therefore, not required to testify against one another.
The author shows their bias many times throughout the writing. The fact is that the list of people that have suspiciously died near the Clintons is over 300 now. Think about how many people that you have known that have died suspiciously? Two? Three? multiply that by 10 to give the Clinton’s the benefit of the doubt and you get 20 or 30. The Clinton’s number is over 300. Anyone that doesn’t think there is something to the conspiracy is either a mind-washed democrat or stupid.
I find the tiered speculative answer not satisfying by claiming again The Great Republican Conspiracy . Just the facts no Moore thought control . The odds of dieing and the personal or legal contact with the Clinton’s a ruler a measure a way to compere . I mean Oprah Ellen and other people with large social profiles wold have a measurable number . What are the odds no Moore verbal hop scotch!
this makes me so sad that you mentioned Biggie but you’re so misinformed.
i had some rude things typed out and i deleted it all just to post this body count link.
do you think even a child has this kind of imagination, creating this stuff for fun? this is someone connecting lots of dots, real journalism here. true relationships
do some research on a search engine that doesnt filter your results.. googles proj dragonfly isnt only in china.
id start with the meme of us influence in yemen, iran & libya.. you wont find it on google images but try duckduckgo
then look up CIA proj. mockingbird
alphabet inc + alphabet agencies= myth-informed you
To be clear i dont believe all those deaths are part of a conspiracy. However years ago I looked into Ron Browns death and was amazed at how the media latched onto such an obvious straw man to dismiss the possibility. The same one you mention here. Why would anyone try to kill Brown with a bullet when a plane crash would suffice? And who would have pulled the trigger? Why would any assasin perform a suicide mission for Clinton? Case closed right?
Not so fast. Ron Brown was supposed to testify before congress on a matter that could end Clintons presidency. Instead Clinton sends him on the day that was scheduled, on an EMERGENCY trade mission to Bosnia. A country we had no companies doing business in. But thats not much to look at. The plane he was on had no black boxes but was scheduled to have them installed soon. The plane slammed into a mountain on approach because of a “malfunction” in the landing beacon. Heres the kicker.
There were two technicians who were assigned to the field who were responsible and could have shed light on why the beacon was fatally off. But before investigators had a chance to interview them, BOTH committed suicide within a week of the crash. For reasons unrelated to each other and unrelated to the crash. AND one of them did it with a rifle shot… to the chest? How awkward is that?
All the above is too weird to write off as coincidence and the media latching onto something stupid like somebody didnt shoot him before the crash…. hmm…
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