The investigation into the death of Missouri auditor Tom Schweich is not over. Police in Clayton say they all the evidence, including gun residue findings and an autopsy, says Schweich died by his own hand, but they still aren’t ready to say why.
Investigators said Tuesday they had that day confiscated Schweich’s work computer that he used in St. Louis, and today confiscate his work computer from Jefferson City, as they continue looking for evidence of a motive for his suicide February 26 at his home in Clayton.
So far Detective Tom Bass says investigators have already searched data from two cell phones, a laptop, and a mainframe computer, for evidence of that motive.
“None was found,” said Bass.
Nor, say police, can they confirm the existence of a whispering campaign that friends and family have told investigators and media that Schweich believed was being conducted against him. Schweich believed Missouri GOP Chairman John Hancock was telling people Schweich was Jewish – something Schweich believed was intended to hurt him in his race for governor.
“We found only one person with firsthand knowledge, and that was David Humphreys, whose already made an affidavit statement that he’s released to the press,” said Detective Tom Bosch. “He reaffirmed that affidavit when he talked to us.”
Humphreys’ affidavit said Hancock had told him Schweich was Jewish in November, but later said he had the date wrong in his original statement and said the conversation had actually taken place in September. The change in the date is significant because Hancock has said he had mistakenly thought Schweich was Jewish and might have said so, but said that stopped after Schweich corrected him in November. Hancock has denied he ever mentioned Schweich’s faith in an effort to hurt him politically or in fundraising.
Clayton police talked to Hancock.
“He denied making any statements,” Bosch said.
Clayton Police also released a 40-page report that details their investigation into the events leading up to and following Schweich’s death. Police write that in an interview, Jack Danforth aide Martha Fitz said Schweich was, “Fierce and confrontational,” in a phone conversation just before his death, when she told him that he should not attempt to expose the alleged whispering campaign. Schweich, she said, ended his part in that call by saying, “I’m going to kill myself,” and dropping the phone.
Police say Schweich’s wife Kathy told them she saw him squatting down with a gun box and thought he would “probably just point the gun at himself and not pull the trigger.” It was while her back was turned that she heard a shot.
Schweich had talked to family about killing himself before, Bass said.
“It was something that, according to his wife, he had mentioned off and on for several years,” Bass said.
Detectives say the family still believes the whispering campaign was the chief issue on Schweich’s mind at the time of his death.
Kathy Schweich told investigators she believed he acted spontaneously when he killed himself, according to the report. Fitz, it says, told investigators, “Clearly he felt like he was alone.”