If you have been following the John P. Wheeler III murder investigation news, you already know how complicated it is to keep all the facts about the case straight–and the family, friend, business associates, neighbors and witness comments as well.
To aid in that effort, and to assist those attempting to create their own working profile of the case, this article and criminal profiles column links are broken down into pertinent sections about the case as of February 22, 2011, with links to each article listed as the section heading.
Former Army Officer John P. Wheeler III: Who killed him?
When the case first broke, a basic report detailing who John was, his age, some comments from friends — James Fallows of the Atlantic Magazine, in particular — and details that were known initially (and shared with the public) were provided to readers. Fallows comments serve in this article to highlight some characteristics about John Wheeler that would prove useful later.
Vietnam Veterean’s Memorial champion John Wheeler homicide – new details
A neighbor named Ron Roark would provide details about activity that happened at the Wheeler New Castle home mere days before Wheeler’s body was found in the Cherry Island Landfill in Wilmington, Delaware in this article of the Wheeler homicide. Additional information was provided as well to help shed light on how the television activity could aid with the investigation by police.
John P. Wheeler III: The ‘neighbors’ twist
Additional case details emerged in the press pertaining to other neighbors who had made comments about John Wheeler. The Dills, for example, and others neighbors, who would not be mentioned later on by news outlets. In addition, information involving the dispute of John Wheeler with his across-the-street neighbors was included.
FBI ‘Assists’ Delaware police in John P. Wheeler III investigation
Up to Jan. 4, 2011, it was still assumed that the last sighting of John was at 3:30 p.m. on the day of the 30th, but that would be changing soon. However, this article details how the FBI became involved in the case and the extent to which they did so.
The smoke bomb issue is brought up and how that could impact the murder investigation.
Why some are saying John P. Wheeler ‘looked homeless’ in his last few days
Questions surrounding John Wheeler’s mental state, alleged ‘weird’ behavior and appearances throughout the Wilmington, DE and New Castle areas, as well as statements made are discussed in this section of the profile articles. Attention is given to the words John used and how they were being played out in the media in a way that might not have been an accurate portrayal of what was going on with him at the time.
John P. Wheeler timeline update: Labored but lucid
In this article the timeline has been discussed, the behavior has been clarified better and an email from John to friend James Fallows illuminates another departure from John’s normal way of doing things–but with no obvious sign of distress in it.
John P. Wheeler: Why the dumpster burial site was likely chosen
Recalling previous dumpster body finds in known homicides, this article sought to illuminate potential reasons a body can be placed in a dumpster as a burial site. The cases mentioned — one nationally prominent, the other not — serve to highlight what motivates some criminals to place a body in such a location.
New evidence in John P. Wheeler III murder case: cell phone, footprint, cabbie
The case begins to gain evidentiary steam as more facts are released to the public about the behind-the-scene happenings. Profiling of these new details aids at-home sleuths with a better understanding of police processes in a homicide investigation and what can be surmised about interviews, analysis and investigation activities taking place.
John P. Wheeler: Eliminating the red herrings
All murder investigations have the potential for red herrings, those pieces of information or activities that occur between a victim and others (or in the lives of those they are close to, work with, live near) that can serve as a distraction that isn’t pertinent to the solving of the murder. The Wheeler case was no exception and potential red herrings were discussed and debunked.
John P. Wheeler III: Family speaks through Newark PD again
While it doesn’t happen often, it isn’t necessarily uncommon for a law enforcement agency to speak on behalf of the family on the heels of a murder of a loved one. There are many potential reasons for this and they are expounded upon in this article, providing the reader with a better understanding of the motivations behind such actions.
John P. Wheeler case: Wilmington PD goes toe-to-toe with city council
As with many police departments throughout the country, sometimes their hands are tied in homicide investigations through no fault of their own. This can be due to budgetary constraints by city officials, politics or a number of other reasons. Unfortunately, the result can be a stall in an investigation and a lack of successful case resolution. John Wheeler’s case crossed three jurisdictional areas in the state of Delaware: New Castle, Wilmington and Newark.
Addressing the alleged John P. Wheeler wrong death diagnosis theory
If you work a homicide sooner or later you are going to deal with the public or the victim’s family questioning your death diagnosis of their loved one. The medical examiner (ME) tends to get it the most, but law enforcement (LE) gets their fair share too. In the John Wheeler case assumptions that it might have been an “accidental” death cropped up too, and it was probably in part due to speculation that resulted because of a lack of public information. Conspiracy theories arose to that end and were, for the most part, debunked logically in this article.
John Wheeler death: Avoiding the fantastical ‘dead birds’ – processing the facts
Homicide profilers can’t deal in fantasy; they have to deal in facts. But the John Wheeler case was rife with even the improbable “the dead birds are part of it” conspiracy theory. This article addresses how profilers must weed out the improbable and not allow it to derail their profile.
John Wheeler case: Would a victimology report help?
If readers missed any article and could only read one, it would be this one that would assist them the most in preparing a profile of the John P. Wheeler III case. Victimology reports serve as the main tool which aid profilers in reaching their case’s most logical conclusions. This report is only as good as the information provided through police case file date, ME reports and LE lab analysis and interview statements, as well as having access to the witnesses and people who came in contact with the victim through the course of their lives.
FBI and ‘going dark’: How that would impact the John Wheeler case
Additional John Wheeler profiling article links with information that has surfaced since mid January is provided below. If you wish to receive profiling articles on this topic in the future straight to your email account, click the “Subscribe” button above.
Reference names and links provided in each individual article and include ABC, Atlantic Magazine, CBS, CNN, Fox News, The News Journal, and The Philadelphia Inquirer…
John Wheeler case: Wheeler search warrants sealed – What does it mean?
John Wheeler 10 trash bin sites: Delaware sleuth provides photos, commentary
Where does the Wheeler death investigation go from here?
Street crime and its relationship to Wheeler’s death
Digging deeper and looking at taxi regulation
When reward money doesn’t break the case
John Wheeler case: Pricetag exceeds $100k mayor says, still no suspect
John P. Wheeler III: Delaware ME 2010 Death Stats release – how it helps case
John P. Wheeler III: Amtrak, timeline and investigative direction
John P. Wheeler III: What was in the bags?
John Wheeler’s widow speaks but should she?
John P. Wheeler III: Is justice blind?