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American newspaper tells public: 'His death was homicide, not suicide'
Memo to FBI: 'Jonathan Luna deserves justice'

Editorial: 'A matter of homicide'

Lancaster (PA) Sunday News: 'The evidence in Jonathan Luna's death does not point to suicide. It's time for the FBI to fully disclose information about the case'

December 10, 2006 -- (The Lancaster Sunday News, a 100,000 circulation newspaper, today published the following editorial on Jonathan Luna's death. While the editorial speaks for itself, we think the essay underscores the importance of a free press in our free society. In no other country in the world can the press so directly challenge, criticize or question a federal police force. This is our most important freedom, and is what makes us American. It's worth remembering that 2006 marks the 300th birthday of printer Benjamin Franklin: now more than ever, we must support the right of all Americans to speak, write and read as we chose. As Ben would say, Use it, or lose it. -ed.)

Editorial in mainstream PA newspaper blasts FBI for dishonesty in Luna case: to view a jpeg image of the editorial, click here >>

The evidence in Jonathan Luna's death does not point to suicide. It's time for the FBI to fully disclose information about the case.

Whether you're trying to commit suicide or fake a kidnapping, it would seem to be difficult to stab yourself in the back.

Several times.

Yet, if a mortician in Baltimore is to be believed, federal prosecutor Jonathan Luna had multiple stab wounds in his back among the 32 cuts she counted in stitching up his body for the funeral.

Once again, we have to wonder why some elements of the FBI seem so intent on trying to convince us that Mr. Luna killed himself or died trying to stage an attempt on his life.

As the Sunday News reported last week, Kim MacLeod, who prepared Mr. Luna's body for viewing, told author Bill Keisling recently that the assistant U.S. attorney had obvious defensive wounds on his hands -- deep slashes and cuts on the fingers, palm and back of the hands -- along with a slit throat and a ragged-looking cut in the scrotum.

While, as county Coroner Dr. G. Gary Kirchner pointed out, some of the wounds she saw may have been part of the autopsy, it seems that Ms. MacLeod's observations, reported in a new edition of Mr. Keisling's book, "The Midnight Ride of Jonathan Luna," only back up what Lancaster County authorities have been saying since Mr. Luna's body was found in Brecknock Township three years ago:

His death was homicide, not suicide.

Yet in the years since Mr. Luna turned up in a creek on the Sensenig & Weaver Well Drilling property at 5:30 a.m. Dec. 4, 2003, after leaving his Baltimore office at 11:38 p.m. Dec. 3, unnamed federal sources have been peddling variations on the suicide theory to the media.

One newspaper quoted federal sources saying Mr. Luna might have been trying to make himself appear the victim of a kidnapping but nicked himself harder than he planned to. Another version has it that he meant to kill himself.

'His death was homicide, not suicide. A federal prosecutor is dead. The evidence suggests that someone killed him. Does someone in the government have something to hide?'

In any event, the depth of the FBI's commitment to finding out what really happened to Jonathan Luna would seem to be in question. Consider that the reward the agency is offering for information in the Luna case is $100,000, while in the Seattle shooting death of another assistant U.S. attorney, Thomas Wales, the reward is $1 million.

All this boggles the mind.

A federal prosecutor is dead. The evidence suggests that someone killed him. Why aren't federal agents going all-out to find out who that was?

Isn't Jonathan Luna as important a person as Thomas Wales? It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that Mr. Luna had dark skin and Mr. Wales had white skin, would it?

Or does someone in the government have something to hide?

Those anonymous sources also have been hinting darkly to reporters that Mr. Luna was "dirty," that he was complicit in the disappearance of $36,000 in a bank robbery case.

If they can't prove it, why leak it? Except to discredit Mr. Luna. Except to blame the victim.

We commend Lancaster County authorities for resisting federal pressure to label the Luna case a suicide.

We hope the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, which now is investigating Mr. Luna's death, does all that it can to force the FBI into something resembling full disclosure.

We do not know whether Jonathan Luna had anything to do with that missing money. We do not know whether he killed himself, deliberately or accidentally.

But shouldn't someone be trying to find out, rather than trying to cover up?

Jonathan Luna deserves justice.