Tom Clements murder
On March 19, 2013, Colorado Department of Corrections executive director Tom Clements was assassinated. His assailant was identified as Evan Ebel, killed two days later in the Dallas area during a high-speed chase with Texas authorities. There is strong evidence that the 211 Crew, a Colorado white supremacist gang with which Ebel was associated, orchestrated Clements's murder, but Colorado law enforcement has declined to pursue a broader conspiracy in the case. Moreover, the hit appears to have been orchestrated by high-level leadership of the gang in coordination with Homaidan al-Turki, a Saudi national convicted in Denver for keeping his maid as a sex slave whose requested transfer to Saudi Arabia was denied by Clements roughly a week before Clements was murdered. al-Turki came from a prominent Saudi family and was reported by federal authorities to have been in contact with the Hamburg cell of al-Qaeda implicated in the 9/11 attacks.
Main article: 211 Crew
Main article: Homaidan al-Turki
- KKTV, "Colorado Governor A Friend Of Paroled Inmate's Dad", 2013/03/22: "Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says he's a close friend of the father of the paroled prisoner who may be linked to the killing of the head of the state prisons. The Denver Post reports Hickenlooper says he and attorney Jack Ebel, father of Evan Spencer Ebel, worked for the same oil company when Hickenlooper was a geologist. [...] Gov. John Hickenlooper issued this statement tonight about his relationship with the Ebel family: “Every killer has a mother and father, usually with broken hearts. I met Jack Ebel some 30 years ago when working for an oil company soon after moving to Colorado. Jack is one of the most kind and generous people I know. His son had a bad streak that I know he tried desperately to correct."
- Denver Post, "Evan Ebel’s hit list suggests ongoing threat to officials", 2014/03/16: "Among new findings by The Denver Post: • A federal official who had no dealings with Ebel said he was named on a hit list found in Ebel’s black Cadillac DeVille two days after Clements was killed on March 19, 2013. • Another government official said Ebel’s hit list contained the names of more than 20 officials — far higher than previously known. [...] Some have suggested the threat of danger might have died with Ebel, but one man on the hit list doesn’t buy it. “There is a murderer at large,” said the federal official, who spoke to The Denver Post on condition of anonymity because of a continuing threat against his life and the lives of family members. “My name was one of the names on the list,” the federal official told The Post on Thursday. “I didn’t know Evan Ebel, and I had no contact with Evan Ebel.” The official did, however, have some involvement with Homaidan al-Turki, a Saudi inmate who has been considered a person of interest in the Clements investigation. Without pointing fingers at anyone in particular, the official said that the appearance of his name on the list was telling from a purely investigative standpoint. “Pretty interesting,” he said."
- KDVR, "Parolee Evan Ebel ‘murdered’ corrections chief, official report says", 2016/06/07: "The Texas Ranger report spells it out on the first page, saying evidence shows Colorado parolee Evan Ebel “murdered” Colorado Department of Corrections Chief Tom Clements and Denver pizza delivery man Nathan Leon. It concludes Clements' murder was “ordered by the hierarchy of the 211 prison gang.” All the evidence in the report was sent to Colorado law enforcement three years ago, but Denver and El Paso County officials still call the deaths open and active investigations. [...] The 77-page report details numerous cellphone and contacts between Ebel and other 211 gang members in the days before and after the deaths. According to the report, a confidential informant told investigators he knew “through direct communication” that 211 gang member James Lohr “ordered the murder of Clements.” He told the informant, “I had (Ebel) do it.” [...] The Texas report also reveals new information about evidence found in the black Cadillac that Ebel was driving, evidence that could point to a much bigger, violent plot. They found pipe bombs and bomb-making materials, with fingerprints and DNA from several unidentified people. They found electronic detonating devices and timers, walkie talkies, face masks and zip ties. [...] Another find: What has been described as a hit list, including “directions to various Colorado officials’ residences, including Clements.” No one is publicly releasing the names of the people on the hit list. But sources said at the time that several Colorado officials were provided with extra security. Some were connected to the case of Saudi Arabian inmate Homaidan al Turki. Clements had just denied al Turki’s request to be set free in Saudi Arabia and sources said one theory was Ebel and the 211 gang might have been hired to kill Clements."
- Associated Press, "Colorado governor haunted by links to prison chief killing", 2016/07/03: "Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper listened as an investigator offered details about the murder of one of his cabinet members, a corrections chief he hired to reform the state’s prisons who had also become a close friend. As the trooper flashed photo after photo on a projection screen, a wave of nausea washed over the governor. It was a mugshot of the killer he immediately recognized. He was the son of another close friend. [...] Hickenlooper met quietly this month with prosecutors and sheriff’s officials, who told him they have begun closing the case. [...] Ebel, 28, was the son of Jack Ebel, a suburban Denver attorney who worked with Hickenlooper at an oil company when Hickenlooper was a geologist. The two stayed close as Hickenlooper went on to become a brewpub owner, and then Denver’s mayor and Colorado’s governor. [...] “I can’t talk about this,” Hickenlooper told reporters after a recent news conference, his voice rising. “I know too many things, and they can be misconstrued in a million different ways.” [...] At the time of the murders, Evan Ebel should still have been in prison. Already there for a series of convictions, he was sentenced to an additional four years for assaulting a prison officer. But a clerical error made it unclear the sentences were supposed to be served back-to-back, and officials treated the sentences as simultaneous, allowing Ebel to walk out of prison in January 2013. He was on parole just two months before he slipped out of his ankle bracelet monitor and set out to kill the prisons chief."
- 5280, "The Long and Winding Case of Homaidan al-Turki", 2018/08: "Eight days before he was killed, Clements penned a letter to al-Turki. The note concerned a prisoner transfer request that had been made on al-Turki’s behalf about a year earlier; al-Turki wished to serve the remainder of his sentence in his home country. High-powered Denver lawyers Hal Haddon and former U.S. Attorney Henry Solano, who’d been hired to handle the transfer application, filed the request with the governor’s office, which kicked the application over to Clements for review. After several months, Clements informed al-Turki of his final decision: In a letter dated March 11, 2013, he denied the request."
- KXRM, "Video supports evidence of conspiracy in murder of Colorado prison chief Tom Clements", 2018/07/31: "The Problem Solvers have obtained the tape of a 211 crew member interview with investigators. The inmate in the interrogation interview flat out tells investigators Ebel told him he was acting on orders from the 211 hierarchy. In the video investigators ask the inmate, “He tells you that he James Lohr (211 Gang Leader) told him to do that? To kill Thomas Clements?” The inmate responded by saying, “He didn’t say it like that, but he said he had them do it.”"
- KDVR, "Murdered by mistake: Was wrong prosecutor targeted?", 2018/08/01: "Sean May was an Adams County prosecutor when he was murdered in front of his Denver home in 2008. The murder is an open case for the Denver Police Department but legal sources and Pfoff tell FOX31 the real target was supposed to be Dan May, a different prosecutor with the same last name as Sean May. Ten years ago, Dan May was a prosecutor in the 18th Judicial District (which covers Arapahoe, Douglas, Lincoln and Elbert counties) and had a history of prosecuting "211" gang members. [...] Retired Detective Mark Pfoff tells the Problem Solvers there's reason to believe the Sean May murder in 2008 and the Tom Clements murder in 2013 were both the work of the 211 White Supremacists prison gang. Pfoff said, “We received information from a confidential informant within the prison system in the state of Colorado that explained everything about the Sean May connections.” Pfoff said he knows exactly what happened. “There was a hit put on Dan May. Sean May was killed mistakenly,” Pfoff explained. Investigators looking into the Clements murder learned of the 211 crew connection and that the gang might have been responsible for both homicides. Pfoff said, “Dan May was given that briefing so he knew that at some point the 211 crew were attempting to kill him.” [...] Pfoff believes Dan May was afraid for his life and never convened a grand jury to go after other 211 gang members who might have aided in Clements' assassination."
- Colorado Springs Gazette, "Signs of broader conspiracy in assassination of Colorado prison chief Tom Clements", 2019/08/19: "Benjamin Davis, the founder of a white supremacist gang, was so sure other gang members conspired to assassinate Colorado prison chief Tom Clements that he agreed to wear a law enforcement wire to record and collect evidence against inmates he identified as likely involved, say three people with ties to the investigation. El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder, whose office is in charge of the investigation into Clements' murder, has insisted there was no conspiracy and maintained that Evan Ebel, a 211 Crew member, acted on his own in the March 19, 2013, murder of Clements. [...] The Gazette has uncovered the existence of a previously unknown second confidential informant in Colorado who appears to have been offered immunity in exchange for testimony linking others in the 211 Crew in a conspiracy to murder Clements. And two investigators told The Gazette that several 211 Crew members turned off their cellphones hours before the murder of Clements and then turned their cellphones on shortly after the murder. [...] After wearing the wire, Davis eventually was transferred to the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins, where authorities have said he killed himself in 2017."
- Colorado Springs Gazette, "Informant: 211 Crew members predicted Clements would be murdered before assassination" by Christopher Osher, 2020/02/15: "The day before the assassination of Colorado corrections chief Tom Clements, two members of the white supremacist gang the 211 Crew revealed during a prison cell discussion details about how the killing would go down, a prison informant claimed in previously undisclosed interviews with police. [...] His statements were taken seriously, in part, because law enforcement officials had kept details of the murder secret, including that Clements had been shot twice — once in the chest and once in the shoulder — and that 9 mm shell casings were found at the scene. [...] In one of the law enforcement recordings conducted in 2013, and recently provided to The Gazette, a member of the 211 Crew claims that an associate of the 211 Crew told him that Ebel and three other 211 Crew members plotted the killing of Clements. That informant said he was told by a 211 Crew associate that James Lohr, a 211 Crew general, drove Ebel to Clements’ home the night of the killing. Joining Ebel and Lohr in plotting the attack were two other high-ranking members of the gang, Christopher “Hog” Middleton and Thomas “Ghost” Guolee, the informant claimed a friend of Middleton’s told him. [...] Statements on two of the recently disclosed recordings provide new details suggesting links between the 211 Crew and Homaidan al-Turki, a Saudi serving up to life in prison for kidnapping and sexually assaulting his housekeeper. [...] The recordings show one informant said he had been told by a high-ranking 211 Crew member that al-Turki helped plot the attack with the 211 Crew. The informant said he had seen al-Turki and Lohr, when Lohr was in prison, often talking alone in the prison yard. [...] Other evidence collected in the case established that al-Turki had a sizable commissary account he could use as leverage in prison and had asked 211 Crew leaders for protection in the prison after he was severely beaten by members of the Gallant Knights Insane gang, two people with ties to the investigation confirmed."