Discussion of the Yvonne Fletcher shooting

March 17
last edits March 26

It's a bit of a side note for this forum, but relevant enough to at least note a fast-moving discussion at the JREF forum on the April 1984 shooting of police constable Yvonne Fletcher (Wikipedia page, news clip with video of the shooting). This was of course blamed on the Libyans, who were trying to shoot protesters outside their embassy in London, in broad daylight, with police present and cameras rolling. The firing injured I believe 11 protesters, and apparently on accident completely skewered Yvonne Fletcher, the only female constable present, killing her. Bad mistake.

It was a major crisis, souring UK-Libya relations in public opinion and on the politcal/military level. The post-Fletcher hardened stance allowed, for example, the US bombing of Libya two years later to be carried out from UK territory. Bad mistake.

We know they did it because they transmitted the order from Tripoli to do it, they left all their ammo behind, and residue of firing by the second floor window. Bad mistake.

And we were told this line of fire was compatible with the injuries sustained by WPC Fletcher. But that's less than clear, to say the least. Some existing conspiracy theories (by Joe Vialls and others) are being hashed over, with plenty of error and inconsistency coming up. But there may well be something interesting to come of out original analysis anyways. This post will be updated to distill the findings, when there are some real findings. In the meantime, it's worth a read or at least a skim. The link again.

Update March 26, major development: one of the embassy staff suspected in this killing, but never caught because no one would break a law about searching bags, has been captured in the bloodbath of Benghazi just now! (more forthcoming)
Finding one: A cornerstone of the prevailing conspiracy theory, promoted by Joe Vialls and a 1996 documentary for BBC Dispatches, is the angle of fire evident in ms. Fletcher's post-mortem report. This was steep, running from right shoulder to left abdomen, taken down as 60 degrees from horizontal. The Libyan People's Bureau (LPB) second-floor window (first floor in UK speak) is only about 18' off the ground, giving a line of fire to Ms. Fletcher of about 15 degrees. Revisionists so far have asserted the 60-degree-line points right up to another, taller building (Enserch House, EH), that housed a secret CIA station.

I don't believe the shot that killed her did come from the LPB, but contrary to what everyone else has said so far, the implied line of fire doesn't support it. I used video and Google maps to set her location and measure the distances involved - she was at the northeast corner - about 60 feet to the nearest window of the LPB and about 90 from the same at EH.

the height of the buildings is roughly the same - about 50 feet for the LPB and 60 for Enserch. Being further away however makes it actuall a worse fit for vertical angle, IF we were talking top floors or rooftops. But taking the official shooting level, upper Enserch House remains a better fit, at about 30 degrees. Either way, we must be seeing the effect of bullet deflection off bone, and/or an unusual posture at moment of impact.

Finding 2: forthcoming.

Finding 3: Following the shooting on April 17, the embassy staff at the LPB was besieged inside and only allowed to leave nine days later on the 26th. It was only four days after that, following a SAS sweep of the place for booby-traps, nearly two weeks after that guess-based siege, that police found any direct evidence the shooting came from inside.
On 30 April, the police entered the former bureau building. In the course of searching it, they discovered several handguns and a quantity of ammunition. Firearms residue was found on the carpet below the window from which the weapon was believed to have been fired on 17 April and a spent cartridge case of the same calibre as that weapon was found in the same room. Elsewhere in the building, the police found accessories for sub-machine guns of the same calibre. 
But the murder weapon itself was allowed to leave the country in a diplomatic pouch. Because to search it would violate a law. (???) But they had nine days to clean the carpet and walls for any clues their stupid, stupid, stupid alleged crime left. Nine days and no one thought about it.

This just doesn't add up. Angles aside, this looks a wee bit like a frame-up.


FullInquiry said...

There is a good online film about the analysis of the direction of the shots that killed Yvonne Fletcher.

Libya retaliated and arrested some Britons in Libya (house arrest) until the Libyan embassy staff were sent home to Tripoli.

When the arrested Britons went home I was on the same flight as some of them from Tripoli to London. The press outside customs was unbelievable waiting to interview the just-released Britons.

There were a lot of outside-paid mercenaries in Tripoli at that time shooting up the place. They were caught and disposed of though. Pictures of the faces of the dead bodies in the Libyan newspapers etc.

I'm also posting here cus my posts on RB's blog are not making it up on that blog so want to see if my posts work here??

Anonymous said...

Yes, I read that forum with interest. I wondered when that the People's Bureau shooting would be aired again, remembering those TV programmes, the like of which certainly wouldn't be shown today.
We will never know the truth. However, pathologists can be leaned on, and evidence can be planted. Otherwise nothing makes sense. Sometimes we are led up the garden path by the most credible of professions. Thanks for providing a sound and balanced discussion on that site, should the event be revisited in the future.

Caustic Logic said...

Thanks. I did find that the Fulcrum/Dispatches program was flawed at least in saying - as Vialls and others have said - that the injury-suggested line of fire lines up with the alleged CIA-front-building. On any relevant line, sixty degrees points a spot about 50 feet or more above any of the relevant buildings. It must be deflection and/or an unusual posture at impact.

But the pathologist did change his story to better fit the police version, and there seems good reason to suspect planted evidence. The alleged crime is ridiculous and makes no sense. And so on. I'm not nearly as sure as I am with Lockerbie, but I suspect another set-up in this case.

Caustic Logic said...

Sorry for the delay, FI. Your comment again was tagged as spam and I didn't notice 'til now. That sucks - some setting perhaps? The prof would approve you too, if he knows to notice, and was online more.

I think the online program is something I would have watched except it was pulled down for copyright. The bastards almost have me ready to buy a copy. It's probably the same, and only, one ever made. The angles, as I said, don't really work out as advertsied. I still think the injuries might well suggest a shot from elsewhere, but i couldn't say which building, and so on. Just on that, I couldn't say much against the official story. It's how it all comes together.

Very interesting to have been that close to such events. From what I gather, the group blamed in the TV show for doing the shooting was the same group trying a coup or takeover in Libya around the same time. Almost certainly related. Was it the Pop. Front for the Salvation of Libya? Or a related splinter group, not sure. If the same group, they also supplied the protesters who were shot along with Ms. Fletcher. Odd.

The correct word for those cats, in proper British and American, is "freedom fighter," or "dissident," not mercenary. That word suggest someone else is paying them, with its moral implications, and thus can only be used in Libya in connection with the Gaddafi regime. ;)

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...


Still online.

Caustic Logic said...

Hey, thanks! I haven't been following this blog lately, but I'm glad I caught that. Saved me a copy.

It's just too bad their main point, the proof that the shooting was from that other building, isn't quite right. A little sketching out the scene would have shown that.

The official story's still wrong, I'm sure, but not quite for that reason.