On a clear day in January 2003, Richard James Burick, the retired deputy director of operations at Los Alamos National Laboratory, drove his silver Dodge pickup into the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area parking lot, waved at two workers, circled around and parked the truck. The next time anyone saw him, he was dead from a gunshot wound to the head. A .44 caliber revolver lay a few feet from his body in a configuration that experts say couldn’t have happened unless someone other than Burick fired the shot that killed him.
Nine years later, Burick’s death still has never been investigated as a possible homicide. Los Alamos Police Department, whose report on the death contains inaccurate and conflicting information, closed out the case as a suicide that same day—long before the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator had a chance to complete its autopsy report. Glenn Walp, the former head of LANL’s Office of Security Inquiries, is now demanding that the Federal Bureau of Investigation reopen the case.