SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - It's a whodunit that reads like a John Grisham thriller. It involves the poisoning death of a Shreveport dentist, writing a book critical of the FBI's response to claims of 9/11 hijackers living here a year before the attacks. Now comes renewed efforts to resurrect the case.
Seen from behind the statue of Lady Justice, it was perhaps a fitting metaphor for the very small march outside Shreveport's federal courthouse. Investigative journalist Sander Hicks became the one man who turned out, protesting the 15-months he's waited for the U.S. Justice Department to respond to his request to investigate the murder of Shreveport dentist Dr. David Graham.
Hicks blamed the low turnout at the courthouse Friday morning, January 16th, on scared friends and family. "They have said, 'if this could happen to David Graham, whoever killed him could kill us."
Hicks described how someone had spiked Dr. Graham's ice tea with anti-freeze. "Graham was poisoned on Memorial Day 2005 while traveling in a small town in eastern Texas." He would linger for almost two years in an ever-worsening state before finally succumbing to the poison.
At the time, Graham was writing a controversial book, "about the fact that two of the 9/11 terrorists were in Shreveport in November of 2000," continued Hicks. Graham's book detailed how he met those two men and how he tried to report his suspicions to the local office of the FBI, to no avail.
"What's really key about this though," added Hicks, "is that the Shreveport FBI and the Texas FBI were at the emergency room telling doctors that he was suicidal and crazy." Some dispute that account. Hicks elaborated, "every Shreveport resident who was friendly with Graham says that he was not suicidal. He was in good spirits and was en route to a wedding."
While that scheduled protest in front of the federal courthouse ended-up being a 'protest of one,' we're told that should not be confused with the amount of interest in the case. "Jeff, David Graham was a personal friend of mine," said Shreveport attorney John Milkovich.
Milkovich even delivered the eulogy at Graham's funeral. "I believe that one of the most appropriate ways to honor his life is to bring to light the true circumstances surrounding his poisoning. But, I don't know who killed him."
"Alright, wish me luck," announced a nervous Hicks, as he left us to enter the courthouse to try to speak with someone in the U.S. Attorney's office. He left empty-handed once again. But, Hicks isn't giving up. He plans to deliver his request personally to the Inspector General of the U.S. Justice Department later this month in Washington D.C.
The FBI, for its part, has consistently denied Dr. Graham ever spoke to them about terrorists before his poisoning. We'll keep you posted.