EXCLUSIVE: Family of Bill Clinton advisor who admitted Jeffrey Epstein into White House seven times has blocked release of files detailing the death scene after he was found hanging from a tree with a shotgun blast at a ranch 30 miles from his home
- Top Clinton advisor Mark Middleton died by suicide at the age of 59 on May 7, the Perry County Sheriff's Office in Arkansas confirmed
- Middleton was President Bill Clinton's special advisor who admitted Jeffrey Epstein to the White House seven of the at least 17 times the pedophile visited
- The married father-of-two, who lived in Little Rock, Arkansas, shot himself at the Heifer Ranch in Perryville, 30 miles away from his home
- DailyMail.com can now reveal Middleton's father Larry and his widow Rhea are fighting to keep photos and 'other illustrative content' of his death sealed
- The two filed for an injunction arguing that blocking the release of the footage would halt a proliferation of 'unsubstantiated conspiracy theories'
- The lawsuit claims the family 'has been harassed by outlandish, hurtful, unsupported and offensive online articles' regarding Middleton and his death
- Perry County Sheriff Scott Montgomery said Middleton was discovered hanging from a tree with a shotgun blast to his chest
- After the petition was filed, Montgomery denied DailyMail.com's FOIA request for any of his paperwork on the case
The family of a top advisor to Bill Clinton who admitted Jeffrey Epstein to the White House multiple times during his presidency is pulling out all the stops to keep details of his mysterious death becoming public.
They have petitioned a judge to prevent pictures of Mark Middleton's death scene being released under the Freedom of Information Act.
And now the local Arkansas sheriff is interpreting that to mean he can't talk or release any details of Middleton's May 7 suicide.
'The investigation is still open. I can't say anything more,' Perry County Sheriff Scott Montgomery told DailyMail.com.
Middleton, who served as special assistant to President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, died at the age of 59, his family announced last month.
Mark Middleton, the former special assistant to President Bill Clinton, died by suicide at the age of 59 on May 7, the Perry County Sheriff's Office in Arkansas confirmed
Middleton was the authorizing figure who admitted Jeffrey Epstein to the White House on seven of the at least 17 times the late pedophile visited. Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell and Clinton are seen in 1993 at the White House
His death adds to the number of close associates of the former president and first lady who have died unexpectedly, many in small plane crashes. The phenomenon has led to a conspiracy theory called Clinton Body Count which even has its own Wikipedia page.
Middleton's family did not disclose the cause of death at the time but authorities later confirmed the former White House official took his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot at an urban farm in Perryville, Arkansas.
In a lawsuit filed on May 23, the family admits Middleton committed suicide, and says they have 'a privacy interest' in preventing any 'photographs, videos, sketches (or) other illustrative content' from the death scene being released.
They claim it would lead to 'outlandish, hurtful, unsupported and offensive articles' being published online.
They argued that keeping the footage and files sealed would halt a proliferation of 'unsubstantiated conspiracy theories'.
A judge is due to hear the case on June 14.
After the petition was filed, Perry County Sheriff Scott Montgomery denied DailyMail.com's FOIA request for any of his paperwork on the case, which would include the police report and written files, even though they do not contain any graphic images.
Late last year, DailyMail.com exclusively revealed Middleton was among the Clinton advisors and aides who had let Epstein into the White House during the former president's first few years in office.
The late pedophile made at least 17 trips to the White House between 1993 and 1995, seven of which were authorized by Middleton.
The Clinton aide was also one of the many passengers to fly on Epstein's jet, known as the 'Lolita Express'.
Middleton's family last month confirmed he passed away on May 7 in a statement which did not reveal the cause of death.
It has since been confirmed that the former advisor, who lived in Little Rock, Arkansas, took his own life at the Heifer Ranch in Perryville, owned by an anti-poverty nonprofit called Heifer International, 30 miles away from his home.
DailyMail.com can reveal Middleton's father Larry and his widow Rhea (pictured with Mark and their two daughters) are fighting to keep photos and 'other illustrative content' of his death sealed
The married father-of-two, who lived in Little Rock, Arkansas, shot himself at the Heifer Ranch in Perryville, 30 miles away from his home
Perry County Sheriff Scott Montgomery said Middleton was discovered on the property hanging from a tree with a shotgun blast to his chest. It is unclear what connection he had to the ranch. Pictured: General view of Heifer Ranch
The Middleton family did not disclose his cause of death at the time of the announcement. The only potential hint at a possible cause of death was a request in Middleton's obituary that, instead of flowers, well wishers donate to a service that specializes in counseling and therapy linked to the New Life Church
Chris Cox Heifer, a spokesman for Heifer International, said that ranch workers found Middleton's car in the parking lot and notified the sheriff.
The body was found shortly afterwards.
Heifer told DailyMail.com: 'He wasn't invited to the property and staff became aware that he was there without authorization.
'We have not found any connection to Heifer.
'The ranch is well known in the area and it's possible that he could have attended something here but we couldn't' find any major links.
'The ranch hosts school groups for things like lambing so he could have attended one of those. It's a very unfortunate incident.'
In an interview with RadarOnline – before he decided to clam up – Sheriff Montgomery said Middleton was discovered hanging from a tree with a shotgun blast to his chest.
He reportedly used an extension cord as a noose and created makeshift gallows underneath the tree which appeared to be there as a failsafe in case the shotgun blast didn't kill him.
The married father-of-two, who ran an air conditioning business, did not leave a note, though he told his family he was 'depressed', Montgomery said.
'I don't know the man, and I don't why he picked our county or picked that location to commit suicide. To our knowledge, he had never been there before, and we have no record of him being there before.
'He died from a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the chest. He found a tree and he pulled a table over there, and he got on that table, and he took an extension cord and put it around a limb, put it around his neck and he shot himself in the chest with a shotgun.
'It was very evident that the shotgun worked because there was not a lot of blood or anything on the scene. You can tell the shotgun blast was on his chest, you can tell that because there is a hole in the chest and pellets came out the back of his back. It was definitely self-inflicted in our opinion'.
The married father-of-two, who ran an air conditioning business, did not leave a note, though he told his family he was 'depressed'
Documents from Middleton's probate file show that he had $200,000 in assets, including $100,000 worth of property
Middleton had for decades run an air conditioning business in Little Rock but in the 1990s he was a special advisor to Clinton and finance director on his Presidential campaign
The injunction was filed two weeks after Middleton's death at the circuit court of Perry County by Rhea Middleton and Larry Middleton, Middleton's widow and father.
It states that they have a 'privacy interest in photographs, videos, sketches and other illustrative content depicting Mark Middleton's body or scene of Mr. Middleton's death' in the possession of the Perry County Sheriff and the county coroner.
The lawsuit states: 'Since Mr. Middleton's death, Mr. Middleton's family has been harassed by outlandish, hurtful, unsupported and offensive online articles regarding Mr. Middleton, his death and his family. These articles are scurrilous, baseless and malicious'.
Publishing images of Middleton's body would cause the family 'irreparable harm', they claim.
'This lawsuit seeks a declaration that any Media Content depicting Mr. Middleton's body or scene of Mr. Middleton's death should not be disclosed under the FOIA,' the documents state.
In an affidavit, Larry Middleton states that the reports about his son's death have been 'unsubstantiated conspiracy theories' which have caused 'unimaginable pain to myself and my family'.
He claims to have 'extreme fear and anxiety' at the prospect of further details being made public.
Larry Middleton writes: 'Once disclosed, my family will face inconceivable amounts of harassment, threats and pain from the inquiry and use of such content'.
The Middletons did not respond to DailyMail.com requests for comment.
Documents from Middleton's probate file show that he had $200,000 in assets, including $100,000 worth of property.
The lawsuit confirms that Middleton died by suicide, something that was not mentioned in the announcement of his death in a Facebook post – now deleted – for the family's air conditioning company, Middleton Heat & Air.
The family filed a petition for an injunction on May 23 seeking a declaration that any 'media content depicting Middleton's body' or the scene of his death should not be disclosed under the FOIA
The statement described him as an 'inspiring and dedicated leader, as well as a son, brother, husband, and father'.
The only potential hint at the cause of death was a request in Middleton's obituary asking for well wishers donate to a service that specializes in counseling and therapy linked to the New Life Church in Arkansas, in lieu of flowers.
Middleton's life in recent years was a world away from the political circles he ran in during the 1990s.
White House visitor logs previously reported by DailyMail.com showed that he appears as the authorizing official on seven of Epstein's White House visits, most of which were to the West Wing.
In addition to being a special assistant to the president, Middleton was also assistant to the chief of staff, Thomas F. 'Mack' McLarty.
Middleton left the White House in February 1995 and was accused of setting himself up as an international deal-maker, exactly the kind of person that would appeal to Epstein.
In 1996 an investigation by the White House found that Middleton had abused his access to impress business clients and he was barred from the executive mansion without senior approval.
Middleton denied the claims.
Middleton also flew on Epstein's plane and appears to have acted as a conduit between the two men. Clinton and Ghislaine Maxwell are seen on the plane
DailyMail.com previously revealed Epstein visited the White House on 14 separate days and stopped by twice in one day on three occasions during Bill Clinton's first term. Middleton admitted him at least seven times
In addition to being a special assistant to the president, Middleton was also assistant to the chief of staff, Thomas 'Mack' McLarty. Clinton and McLarty are pictured in the White House in 1993
Several Clinton's former associates have died over the years in unexpected circumstances, including deputy White House counsel Vince Foster.
His 1993 death was ruled a suicide but sparked a slew of conspiracy theories about the involvement of the Clintons.
After Epstein hanged himself while awaiting trial in 2019 Donald Trump retweeted conspiracy theories that Clinton was involved.
Many others with links to Bill and Hillary Clinton have died in mysterious circumstances over the years. Wikipedia even has a page called Clinton Body Count which lists those people. Others whose deaths have been linked to the Clintons without foundation have been Seth Rich, the Democratic National Committee staffer who was murdered in 2016 with no culprit having been found.
THE CLINTON ASSOCIATES WHO HAVE DIED MYSTERIOUSLY
Several of Bill Clinton's former associates have died over the years under mysterious circumstances, sparking a conspiracy theory known as the Clinton Body Count.
There is even a Wikipedia page that outlines the conspiracy. It points the finger at Newsmax publisher Christopher Ruddy, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green and others for advancing the theory.
The manner of death is diverse. Many died in small plane crashes, others committed suicide, some were shot. One dropped a barbell on his neck while exercising.
The theory came to a head when Hillary Clinton was running for president in 2016 when five people died in a six-week span stretching from June 22 to August 2.
Former Clinton associate Larry Nichols, told DailyMail.com then: ‘I’m not saying the Clintons kill people. I’m saying a lot of people around the Clintons turn up dead.’
Several different lists have been drawn up. These are among those most frequently cited as possible victims. Now the name of Mark Middleton will be added to the body count lists.
Judi Gibbs, 32, January 3, 1986: The one-time Penthouse Pet died alongside her lover Bill Puterburgh, 57, in an unexplained house fire in Fordyce, Arkansas. She was a high-class prostitute who used hotels and racetracks to pick up rich and powerful men and was known to have had an affair with then-Arkansas governor Bill Clinton who would fly her from her home town to Little Rock. Rumors of a compromising picture of the two of them were rife, but if it ever existed, it was probably destroyed in the fire. The families of both Gibbs and Puterburgh told DailyMail.com in 2016 they believe the fire was set deliberately.
Kevin Ives and Don Henry
Kevin Ives, 17, and Don Henry, 16, August 23, 1987: The two teens were crushed by a train, in Alexander, Arkansas. Their deaths were ruled accidental, with the medical examiner saying they had fallen asleep on a railroad line after smoking marijuana, but a grand jury found they had been murdered before being placed on the tracks. They had allegedly stumbled on a plot to smuggle drugs and guns from an airport in Mena, Arkansas, that Gov. Bill Clinton was said to be involved in.
Victor Raiser, 53, July 30, 1992: The second finance co-chair of Bill Clinton's presidential campaign was killed along with his son in a plane crash during a fishing vacation in Alaska. Conspiracy theorists believe the crash was deliberately caused. Campaign press secretary Dee Dee Myers called Raiser a major player in the organization.
Paul Tully, 48, September 25, 1992: The Democratic strategist died of an apparent heart attack. A chain-smoking, heavy-drinking political consultant who weighed in at more than 320 lb. Tully died seven weeks before Clinton's first presidential election win. He had been political director of the DNC during Clinton's rise. Tully was on the left of the Democratic Party and usually worked for those who shared his views, however he agreed to work for Clinton because he was impressed with his oratory and thought he was the only Democrat who could beat President George Bush.
Paula Gober, 36, December 7, 1992: Clinton's interpreter for the deaf for several years died in a single car accident. Gober had traveled with him while he was governor of Arkansas. Her vehicle overturned on a bend, throwing her 30 feet. There were no witnesses.
Vince Foster with Hillary Clinton in 1985
Vince Foster, 48, July 20, 1993: The Arkansas lawyer committed suicide. President Clinton appointed Foster to deputy White House counsel when he became president in 1993. It didn't take long for Foster, 48, to realize he had made a terrible mistake by accepting the post. He hated the work and fell into a deep depression. Just six months into the job, his body was found in his car in Fort Marcy Park, Virginia, a gun in his hand and a suicide note torn into 27 pieces in the trunk. Conspiracy theorists believe he was murdered by the Clintons for knowing too much.
Stanley Heard, 47, September 10, 1993: The Arkansas chiropractor died in a small plane crash. According to 1998 book 'A Profession of One's Own,' the doctor treated the Clinton family. Heard was asked by Bill Clinton to represent the practice as plans for 'Hillarycare' were being finalized. His attorney Steve Dickson, was flying him home from a healthcare meeting in Washington DC just eight months into the Clinton presidency. On the way to the capital from his home in Kansas, Dickson's small plane developed problems so he landed in St. Louis and rented another plane. That rented plane was the one that crashed in rural Virginia, killing both men.
Jerry Parks, 47, September 23, 1993: The head of security for Bill Clinton's headquarters in Arkansas, was shot to death. As he drove home in West Little Rock, two men in a white Chevrolet pulled alongside his car and sprayed it with semi-automatic gunfire. As Parks's car stopped a man stepped out of the Chevy and shot him twice with a 9mm pistol and sped off. Despite there being several witnesses, no-one was ever arrested. The killing came two months after Parks had watched news of Vince Foster's death and allegedly told his son Gary 'I'm a dead man.' His wife Lois remarried and her second husband, Dr. David Millstein was stabbed to death in 2006.
Edward Willey Jr, 60, November 29, 1993: The Clinton fundraiser was found dead in the Virginia woods. He was having serious money problems and his wife, a volunteer aide in the White House, agreed to ask Bill Clinton for a paid job. Their meeting ended when Clinton allegedly forced himself on her in the Oval Office, kissing her, fondling her breast and pushing her hand on to his genitals. Four years later Kathleen Willey wrote a book in which she put forward a theory that the Clintons may have had her husband murdered. She said after his death, a friend had told her that Ed had confided that he took briefcases full of cash to the Clintons' base in Little Rock, Arkansas during Bill's first presidential campaign.
Herschel Friday, 70, March 1, 1994: The Arkansas lawyer died in a small plane crash when he lost control as he came in to land at his Arkansas ranch. President Richard Nixon had once considered Friday for the Supreme Court. He was known as a benefactor of Bill Clinton, serving on his campaign finance committee after his law firm had persuaded the then-governor to support a tax package that helped the state's horse racing industry.
Kathy Ferguson, 37, May 11, 1994: The ex-wife of Arkansas State Trooper Danny Ferguson, who was named in a sexual harassment suit brought by Paula Jones against Bill Clinton. Ferguson died by gun suicide. She left a note blaming problems with her fiancé, Bill Shelton. A month later Shelton, upset about the suicide verdict, killed himself.
Ron Brown and Bill Clinton
Ron Brown, 54, April 3, 1996: The chair of the Democratic National Committee died in a plane crash in Croatia. He became head of the DNC during Bill Clinton's rise to the presidential nomination and was rewarded with the cabinet position. He was under a corruption investigation when his plane slammed into a mountainside. Doctors who examined his body found a circular wound on the top of his head which led to suspicions that he had died before the plane crashed, but that theory was later discounted. The crash was attributed to pilot error.
Charles Meissner, 56, April 3, 1996: The assistant secretary for international trade died in the same plane crash as Brown. Meissner had been criticized for allegedly giving special security clearance to John Huang, who later pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges for violating campaign finance laws, in a case that enmeshed the Clinton administration.
Barbara Wise, 48, November 29, 1996: Wise, who worked alongside Brown, Meissner and Huang in the Commerce Department was found dead at her desk on the day after Thanksgiving. Her death was originally classified as a homicide but police later said Wise, 48, who had a history of severe ill health, had died from natural causes. A local TV station initially quoted an unidentified police source as saying her body was partially nude and her office was locked, but those reports were also later denied.
Mary Mohaney, 25, July 7, 1997: The White House intern was gunned down along with two assistants at the Washington D.C. Starbucks, where she was night manager. The gay rights activist reportedly acted as a 'mother-figure' to various women who had allegedly been sexually harassed by Bill Clinton.
Jim McDougal, 57, March 8, 1998: McDougal and his wife Susan were involved in the Whitewater real estate scandal that rocked the Clinton administration. They and the Clintons had invested $203,000 to buy land in the Ozarks but the venture failed and McDougal was convicted of corruption for borrowing money from his Savings and Loan to cover the cost. He died of a heart attack while in federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas.
Linda Thompson, 56, May 10, 2009: The founder of the American Justice Foundation and right-wing radio personality was the person who drew up the first list of deaths associated with people who had worked with Clinton in 1994. She died in St. Petersburg, Florida, when she took an overdose of medication prescribed for a gastric bypass surgery that she had had more than a decade earlier.
John Ashe, 61, June 22, 2016: The Antiguan politician was pumping iron at his home in Dobbs Ferry, New York, when he dropped the weight on his neck. He died from 'traumatic asphyxiation. Ashe was about to stand trial in a corruption case for allegedly receiving $500,000 from billionaire real estate developer Ng Lap Seng. Ng was involved in a fundraising scandal and named in a 1998 Senate report for illegally funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to the DNC during Bill Clinton's presidency. 'During the trial, the prosecutors would have linked Ashe to the Clinton bagman Ng. It would have been very embarrassing. His death was conveniently timed,' The New York Post reported.
Seth Rich, 27, July 10, 2016: The Operations Director for Voter Expansion for the DNC, was found murdered on in Washington, DC. He was shot in the back a block from his apartment at 4:20am. His killers have not been identified. Conspiracy theorists believe Rich may have been involved in the DNC email leak in 2016. His death initially appeared like a robbery gone wrong but his mother Mary Rich claims that nothing was taken from her son, who was found with two shots in his back. The mystery surrounding his death sparked a flurry of theories, including claims that he was on his way to speak to the FBI when he was shot.
Joe Montano, 47, July 25, 2016: The former Democratic National Conference Chairman with in-depth knowledge of Hillary Clinton's campaign, died from what authorities say was a heart attack – the day that year's DNC opened.
Victor Thorn, 54, August 1, 2016: The journalist and strong critic of the couple died on his birthday. Thorn is said to have climbed a mountain near his State College, Pennsylvania, home before shooting himself to death. He wrote a trilogy of books on the Clintons, devoting one of the books to the number of their contacts who had mysteriously died.
Shawn Lucas, 38, August 2, 2016: The lawyer who supported Bernie Sanders, was found dead on the bathroom floor of his Washington DC apartment. Just a month earlier he had attempted to serve papers on Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in a fraud case that alleged the party had unfairly favored Hillary Clinton in the primaries over Sanders. A video of Lucas taking the papers to the DNC's Washington headquarters showed Lucas, who was said to have been a Sanders supporter, calling serving the papers 'the most gratifying thing I have ever done.'
Jeffrey Epstein, 66, August 10, 2019: The convicted pedophile died in federal prison in Manhattan, apparently by hanging himself in his cell. He had attempted suicide three weeks earlier and was placed on suicide watch. A guard was supposed to look in on him every 30 minutes but fell asleep on the night of Epstein's death. Clinton had close ties to Epstein and had flown on his private plane to his private Caribbean island, but has always denied any involvement in his illicit activities.