Colonel Sabow Reports
By permission of Dr. David Sabow, brother of Colonel James
This page was created so that the investigative reports and comments by various authors can be accessed from one
Investigation of the death
of Colonel James Sabow, USMC
The investigation of the circumstances of the death of Colonel James E. Sabow
is continued in this report. The extraordinary quality of the photographs of the crime scene and autopsy was instrumental
for this examination. Evaluation of the gunshot residue, back spatter residue, cranial injuries, blood spatter,
the Colonel s bathrobe and the position of the body lead to the conclusion that Colonel James Sabow was murdered
and an attempt was made to stage the body to appear that he committed suicide. The Colonel was rendered unconscious
and mortally wounded by a devastating blow by a broad, flat club to the right occipital region of his skull prior
to the intraoral shotgun blast. The reconstruction of the homicide crime scene indicates that three or more assailants
Summary of the case, by Dr,
Shotgun Death of Col.
James Sabow By Dr. Jon Nordby
Dr. Jon Nordby was retained by the Deaprtment of Defense
to reanalyze all the evidence in this case. This is a link to the massive report by Dr. Nordby. Dr. Nordby concluded
that Col. Sabow committed suicide.
Dr. David Sabow Critiques
Dr. Nordby's Report
Bryan Burnett Critiques
Dr. Nordby's Report
Investigation of the
death of Colonel James Sabow:
Gunshot residue, backspatter and crime scene analysis.
Colonel James E. Sabow , USMC, died on January 22, 1991. He was found dead in
the backyard of his home on the Marine Corps air base at MCAS, EL Torro, California. The circumstances of his death
have been controversial for more than fourteen years. The gunshot residue (GSR) investigation in this case had
remained, until this paper, incomplete. This paper examines the GSR as well as the backspatter residue associated
with the clothing of Col Sabow. The results show that it is highly probable that the Colonel did not commit suicide,
but was murdered. Enhanced photographs of the crime scene and autopsy also support the homicide scenario.
Letter to Congressman
Duncan Hunter from Attorney Michael Jacobs (December 24, 2006)
Attorney Michael Jacobs recently retired from the Homicide Trials Division, Orange
County District Attorney’s Office, has reviewed over 400 suspicious death cases and after reviewing the evidence
of the Colonel Sabow death has concluded that this is a homicide.
Letter to Alberto Gonzales
from Congressman Duncan Hunter (April 19, 2007)
Congressman Duncan Hunter, ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, has
been involved in this case since 2003 when he requested a reinvestigation of the Colonel Sabow death through the
Armed Services Appropriation Bill of 2004. The recent submission of the report by Bryan Burnett and Dr. Sabow,
and more importantly, the letter from attorney Michael Jacobs, recently retired chief of the Homicide Trials Division
of the Orange County’s District Attorney’s Office (El Torro Marine Air Corps Base was located in Orange County,
Letter to Congressman Hunter
from the Department of Justice (May 17, 2007)
The response letter from the Department of Justice to Congressman Duncan Hunter.
The lack of a personal letter from Alberto Gonzales displays the continued lack of interest on the part of the
Department of Justice to investigate the Sabow homicide.
Semper Fidelis – The Homicide
of Colonel James E. Sabow
Dr. J. David Sabow, the brother of Colonel James Sabow, has devoted enormous
amounts of time and resources into the investigation of the death of his brother. Dr. Sabow kept a diary of his
extraordinary observations and experiences. This account of the events before, during and almost a year after
the homicide is presented here.
[Edited by Bryan Burnett]