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Prison chief murder has Seattle family thinking of assassination of federal prosecutor here

In 2011, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder joined (background from left) Seattle Police Chief John Diaz, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg, Tom Wales, and Amy Wales to renew the campaign to find the killer of Thomas Wales.Although the FBI has offered a $1 million reward in the case, it remains unsolved. (AP file photo)

The murder of the Colorado prison chief is reminiscent of other attacks on legal officials, including the unsolved assassination of a federal prosecutor in Seattle.

The man suspected of murdering Colorado Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements is said to be ‘basically dead’ after police in Texas shot him following a high-speed car chase.

The suspect’s black Cadillac sedan with Colorado plates match the description of the car seen fleeing the home of Clements.

Clements was shot dead when he answered the front door at his home in Monument, Colorado, not far from Colorado Springs.

Investigators suspect the Clements murder was some kind of revenge killing, which has happened before in Colorado. In 2008 a prosecutor was shot to death as he returned to his Denver home. That case remains unsolved.

A case in Seattle involving the murder of a prosecutor is also unsolved.

In September of 2001, federal prosecutor Thomas Wales was fatally shot while he worked on a computer at night in his Seattle home.

A couple of years ago the FBI offered a $1 million reward in the case to find the killer who stood outside Wales’ home on Queen Anne and fired several shots from a handgun through a basement window. Wales, a father of two, died working at his desk.

Wales, a prosecutor who specialized in white-collar crime cases, was shot at 10:40 p.m. It has been reported that a lone male suspect was observed leaving the scene.

“It is my understanding that the assailant was in the backyard perched above the window and able to shoot down into the basement,” Amy Wales said as she stood before reporters talking about the “calculated” and “brutal” murder of her father.

While still having no leads, investigators say it’s possible Wales was targeted because of his public advocacy of gun control.

“No one deserves this, and the person is out there, and he should not be free to roam,” she said.

To the person or persons who killed Wales, Amy said this:

I am not afraid of you. You do not intimidate me. If ever we should meet, you will know me by my strength and my commitment to the life force that lives on in my hands and in my heart.

Worth reading: Dear Pops, A daughter’s letter to her murdered dad


If you have any information about the case, there are three ways you can contact the FBI, all of which are confidential:

Call (206) 622-0460


Send a letter to P.O. Box 2755, Seattle, WA 98111

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