A top Pentagon aide trashed his own home just days before his body was found dumped in a landfill site, neighbours have claimed.
John Wheeler appears to have unsheathed his cadet sword, smashed some plates in the sink and overturned a plant in his kitchen during a rampage through the property.
The disclosure adds another layer to a mysterious and complex story surrounding one of Washington’s best advisers who served under three presidents during a decorated career.
Though it is not clear why he would have trashed his own property or if he even carried out the attack himself, it is thought he may have had a breakdown of sorts in the days before his death.
The 66-year-old was known to have battled bipolar disorder through a large part of his life.
Neighbour Robert Dill said he found a heavy dusting of cleanser on the wood floor with a bare footprint on the powder.
The house was in such a state that Mr Dill, who had gone around to investigate, thought he had stumbled across a crime scene.
The body of the former Army officer, who was instrumental in building the iconic Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington DC, was discovered on a landfill in Wilmington, Delaware, on New Year’s Eve.
Workers discovered him when a garbage truck containing his body completed its run at the Cherry Island landfill and threw his body out.
He had been put into a commercial dumpster in Newark, Delaware, about
12 miles from his home and 15 miles from Wilmington, where it was picked up by a garbage truck and taken to the landfill site.
Speaking for the first time Mr Dill, 73, told USA Today that when Wheeler usually went away he left the radio on to make it seem like somebody was at home.
On the morning of December 30th, however, it had been switched off even though a side door to the house was open.
One upstairs window was also ajar even though Mr Dill had locked them all and tidied up the house a few days before, as he used to do as a favour to Wheeler whenever he made one of his frequent trips away.
By Daniel Bates
Last updated at 7:25 PM on 22nd February 2011
Full article here: Daily Mail