Monday, May 27, 2019

23 May 1989: On this day 30 years ago in the radiocarbon dating of the Turin Shroud

© Stephen E. Jones[1]

This is part #16, "23 May 1989" of my series, "On this day 30 years ago in the radiocarbon dating of the Turin Shroud." For more information about this series, see part #1. Installments will be to the whole post and not specifically linked. Emphases are mine unless otherwise indicated.

[Index #1] [Previous: Mar89: #15] [Next: 4 June 1989 #17]

23 May 1989 Before noon on 23 May 1989, German former hacker for

[Above (enlarge): Partially burnt forest trees from the gasoline fire that killed Karl Koch[2]. Note that a fire which can partially burn dry trees would not go out until all the wood was burned, unless it was controlled by at least one person using a fire extinguisher, hose or buckets of water. But Koch couldn't have extinguished the gasoline fire that killed him and there was no fire extinguisher, hose or bucket at the scene anyway. Therefore Koch's death was murder, not suicide! See below. See also 21Jul14, 17May15, 02Jun16 & 15Jul18.]

the KGB, Karl Koch (1965–89), left his workplace at the Hanover office of then West Germany's Christian Democratic Union party, in his employer's vehicle, to deliver a package to a government office in Hanover, but he never arrived[3].

In the late afternoon, Koch's employer notified the police of his disappearance[4]. Koch's friends and the German domestic security agency (BFV) sent out search parties looking for Koch but after a week the searches were abandoned[5].

On 30 May a farmer who had been checking his irrigation daily noticed

[Above (enlarge)[6]: Road from the village of Ohof, Germany (bottom right), leading to patches of forest adjoining farmland. Presumably it was to one of these patches of forest along that road on the night of 29-30 May 1989 (see below), that two cars, one being Koch's work car containing his barefoot (see below) dead body, were driven by agents of the East German Stasi on behalf of the KGB. There a circular patch on the edge of the forest was burned, controlled by a fire extinguisher to provide a firebreak, and then Koch's dead body was laid in the centre of that circular firebreak, doused with gasoline (petrol) and set alight, to simulate Koch's suicide. Koch's car was then hidden in the forest nearby and covered with dirt (see below) in the hope it would not be discovered for a long time.]

a car parked in the adjoining forest[7] near the village of Ohof, north of Hanover[8]. After a few days in a row, when he saw that the car was still there, he called the police[9], on 1 June.

The police investigated the report that day and found that the car's roof, hood and windscreen were thick with dust[10], looking like it had been there for years[11]. In the undergrowth near the car, the police found a charred corpse lying next to an empty gasoline can[12]. He was lying face down with an arm over his head as though trying to shield himself from the flames[13].

The vegetation in the surrounding 3 - 4 metres had been burned black[14] (see above). The police concluded that the driver of the car had committed suicide[15] by pouring the contents of the gasoline can over himself, soaking the surrounding earth as well, lighting a match, and was burned to death[16]. The police noted that the corpse was barefoot but no shoes were found in the car or in the surrounding area[17]. They were puzzled because there had been no rain for five weeks and the undergrowth was as dry as matchwood, yet the scorched patch around the body was contained, as if it had been carefully controlled[18]. On 3 June 1989[19] the body was publicly identified by the police as that of Karl Koch[20].

[Above (enlarge): Timeline between: a. Koch's disappearance on 23 May 1989[21]; b. a farmer first noticing on 30 May what turned out to be Koch's work vehicle parked in the adjoining forest[22]; c. police responding to the farmer's report found a burnt body near the vehicle[23]; d. police identification on 3 June of the body as that of Koch[24]; and e. Timothy W. Linick's `suicide' (see 22Feb16 & 07Mar16) a day later on 4 June[25]!]

But see above that Koch couldn't have controlled and extinguished the gasoline fire which killed him and there was nothing at the scene by which he could have controlled and extinguished it. Koch would have been wearing shoes when he left his office in his work car, but they weren't in the car or the surrounding area[26]. And there was no suicide note by Koch[27].

Moreover, suicide made no sense, since Koch had confessed to the West German authorities his selling of hacked Western computer secrets to the KGB[28]. He was therefore in no danger of being prosecuted, being protected from punishment by the terms of the West German espionage amnesty legislation[29]. The authorities had actually provided Koch with accommodation and found him a job with the Christian Democratic Party[30]. He was also receiving help with his drug dependency and seemed on his way to rehabilitation[31] Koch was even planning to move into an apartment of his own and had embraced conventional religion[32]. There "was `a strong whisper'" coming from the West German intelligence services that "the Stasi - East Germany's secret service was responsible for Koch's death"[33].

There would have been no need to take the trouble to drive Koch ~43 kms (~28 mi) from Hanover, burn Koch alive to kill him in a simulated suicide, and then hide his car. A forced overdose of drugs would have plausibly implied that the former drug addict Koch had killed himself accidentally. But the burning of Koch's already dead body would have been necessary to hide the marks of torture by the Stasi/KGB to find out who else Koch had told about his hacking of the Shroud's dating for the KGB. Therefore, in view of the above evidence, Koch's `suicide' was murder by the Stasi on behalf of the KGB to silence Koch from talking further about his hacking of Zurich and Oxford's Shroud radiocarbon dating computers!

Especially since Arizona laboratory's Timothy W. Linick was found dead of `suicide' on 4 June 1989, the day after Koch's body was publicly identified as his on 3 June 1989 [see next "4 June 1989"]!

To be continued in the next part #17 of this series.

1. This post is copyright. I grant permission to quote from any part of it (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this page. [return]
2. "Cliff Stoll visiting Karl Koch's death forest," FirstPost, 2014 (no longer online). [return]
3. Clough. B. & Mungo, P., 1992, "Approaching Zero: Data Crime and the Computer," Faber & Faber: London & Boston, p.163. [return]
4. Ibid. [return]
5. Hafner, K. & Markoff, J., 1991, "Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier," Corgi: London, reprinted, 1993, pp.302-303. [return]
6. "Ohof, 38536 Meinersen, Germany," Google maps, 2019. [return]
7. Hafner & Markoff, 1991, p.303. [return]
8. Clough, & Mungo, 1992, p.163. [return]
9. Hafner & Markoff, 1991, p.303. [return]
10. Clough, & Mungo, 1992, p.163. [return]
11. Karl Koch (hacker)," Wikipedia, 26 April 2019. [return]
12. Clough, & Mungo, 1992, p.163. [return]
13. Hafner & Markoff, 1991, p.303. [return]
14. Ibid. [return]
15. Clough, & Mungo, 1992, p.163. [return]
16. Hafner & Markoff, 1991, p.303. [return]
17. Ibid. [return]
18. Clough, & Mungo, 1992, p.163. [return]
19. King, T., ed., 1989c, "One of Cliff Stoll's `Wily Hackers' Is Dead (Suicide?)," Phrack Magazine, June 5. This 5th June Phrack Magazine report states that Koch died on 3 June, evidently wrongly assuming at the time that Koch had died the same day that the police publicly identified his body. [return]
20. Ibid. [return]
21. Clough & Mungo, 1992, p.163; Hafner & Markoff, 1991, pp.302-303. [return]
22. Hafner & Markoff, 1991, p. 303. [return]
23. Clough & Mungo, 1992, p.163; Hafner & Markoff, 1991, p.303. [return]
24. Clough, & Mungo, 1992, p.163. [return]
25. Galeazzi, G., 2013. "Never solved: The enigma that still divides the Church: The Shroud," Vatican Insider, 1 April. Translated from Italian by Google (no longer online). English translation, "Unsolved Enigma that Still Divides the Church: The Shroud" (no longer online). [return]
26. Clough, & Mungo, 1992, p.163. [return]
27. Stoll, C., 1989, "The Cuckoo's Egg Tracking a Spy through the Maze of Computer Espionage," Pan: London, reprinted, 1991, p.362. [return]
28. Clough & Mungo, 1992, p.185. [return]
29. Clough & Mungo, 1992, p.186. [return]
30. Clough & Mungo, 1992, p.185. [return]
31. Ibid. [return]
32. Hafner & Markoff, 1991, p.302. [return]
33. Clough & Mungo, 1992, p.185. [return]

Posted: 27 May 2019. Updated: 4 February 2021.

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