The Holocaust Historiography Project

Witch Hunt in Boston

Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.

  • Paper presented to the Tenth International Revisionist Conference.

Boston is historically famous for an atmosphere conducive to free thinking. Boston is no less historically infamous for an atmosphere of social and political intolerance, the like of which is unrivalled in the annals of repressive thoughts. The witch hunt originates from the very bedbolts of Boston’s fiber and, although perfected in Salem, one of Boston’s more notorious suburbs, the roots of the witch hunt go back some twenty-five years prior to the Salem Witchcraft Trials to the little-known case of Mary Dyer.

Mary Dyer now stands on the lawn of Boston’s new State House, the center of Massachusetts’s sometimes enlightened, but generally befuddled government. She stands as a statue to remind the people of Massachusetts “Never Again!” (It seems we have heard these words somewhere before.) She’s there to remind the people of Boston of their ancestors' disgrace, their crime against humanity: the murder of free thought in Boston, the execution of Mary Dyer.

Mary Dyer was a Quaker who, because of bearing witness to her faith, was accused of being a witch, being possessed of the devil. (note) Boston, however, notwithstanding events a quarter of a century later at Salem, in the end could not bring itself to persecute, excuse me, I mean prosecute, the poor woman for her religious beliefs by way of an accusation that she was possessed by Satan and, therefore, a witch (although that was attempted), but instead charged her with sedition, a charge broad enough to cover its shame. In 1660 Mary Dyer was convicted and summarily hanged at the old gallows at Boston Neck. But at length Boston recovered its sanity and, displaying the true Puritan ethic, in the tradition of Hester Prynne, emblazoned an A on its breast, by planting Mafia directly in front of the Massachusetts State House. “Never again.”

Today, hypocrisy again reigns in Boston. On the eighteenth of September, 1990, some three hundred and thirty years after the disgrace of Mary Dyer, the Massachusetts court system, directed this time by something other than the Puritan ethic, prepares again for another consummate disgrace. It has issued Criminal Complaint Number 9050 CTR 3294, against Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. and is preparing to try him for practicing as an engineer without being registered. Todays sedition?

Maybe I can get the contract to build the gallows.

The problem is greater. I'll start at the beginning. Most everyone here knows that in 1988 I was sent to Poland by the defense team of Ernst Zündel to investigate the alleged execution gas chamber facilities at three Nazi-run concentration camps: Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek. My subsequent report and forensic analysis proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that there were no gas execution facilities operated by the Nazis at these three camps. I later entered my findings into the court record as testimony as a court-qualified expert at Toronto. I was chosen for this task from a field of experts numbering one, recommended by those states in the United States having lethal gas chambers as a mode of execution.

I came, I saw, I testified. There were no homicidal gas chambers. Q.E.D. It was over, I thought. Chapter two was in the drafting. But not by me.

After I completed my assignment for Mr. Zündel and the Canadian court system, exporting some of Thomas Jefferson’s ideals of constitutionally guaranteed free speech and the right to a fair trial, I returned to Boston to resume my work as the only execution expert and manufacturer of execution equipment: electric chairs, lethal injection machines, gas chambers and gallows. It was back to business as usual, I thought.

While I contacted the various prison wardens with whom I deal, an insidious plot was being fomented by various Jewish groups, namely the Holocaust Survivors and Friends in Pursuit of Justice, headed by Shelly Shapiro and based in Latham, New York, and its parent organization. the Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, headed by Beate Klarsfeld and based in Paris. Additionally, the Anti-Defamation League of the B'nai B'rith joined, forming a rather unholy and anti-American trinity. Apparently, after unsuccessfully attempting to impugn the scientific truth contained within and upon which the Leuchter Report of 1988 is based, through the incompetent analysis of an unqualified pharmacist, J.C. Pressac, the Klarsfeld Foundation, whose much proclaimed purpose is “Nazi hunting,” has switched to witch hunting. The reason for this switch is unknown to me at this time, although I might speculate that it is due to slim pickings in the area of Nazis. I don’t know if pickings are better for witches, but with the approach of Halloween, who knows, things might improve.

These organizations had determined that if The Leuchter Report was unassailable, Leuchter wasn’t. But I'm sure they found, much to their dismay, that Leuchter was as he said he was. And his shirt was clean too. The next step, if they intended to target Leuchter, was to destroy him economically. They set out with a very workable, but very clandestine plan. The plan must have been very well organized, for it has apparently succeeded very well.

A five pronged-attack has been initiated against me by these groups, aimed at depriving me of my civil rights and the right to make a living at my chosen profession. This has consisted of the following:

  1. Political threats to prison officials who choose to deal with me.
  2. Vilification by private contacts as well as in news- print and on television.
  3. Legislation to prohibit my working at my profession.
  4. Criminal prosecution for working at my profession.
  5. Lies spread by public officials, both officially and privately.

Sometime around November or December of 1988 representatives from various Jewish organizations began contacting the prison wardens and other Department of Corrections officials in states having capital punishment, threatening them with political consequences if they dealt with Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. or Fred A. Leuchter Associates, Inc thus, almost a year after the writing of The Leuchter Report, a treacherous plan was implemented. I continued to work now knowing what was happening, but seeing the beginning of my business decline. Orders seemed to stop, but I was unable, or unwilling, to read the handwriting already appearing on the wall. That fall I was contacted by a writer who asked me if I would permit her to interview me on the obsolete and defective execution equipment around the country and my efforts to replace it with humane and competent equipment. The article was finally written and appeared in the February 1990 edition of the Atlantic magazine. The article dealt only with execution equipment in the United States. It never mentioned the existence of The Leuchter Report. That had never come up in my discussions with the author, and was beyond the scope of the article. Both the magazine and the author received many adverse comments from various elements of the Jewish community.

Resultant to this article, I was contacted by Prime Time Live of ABC News to do the special which was broadcast in May of this year. I was advised by personnel at ABC News that at various locations at which we had taped, prison officials had been contacted and threatened with political consequences if we were allowed to continue. Fortunately, by that time we had completed taping. ABC News was pressed by the same groups not to air the show. Feeling that this pressure was interference with the news, the ABC people refused to give in. They were also criticized for not condemning me for writing the Report. ABC Prime Time Live felt that the Report was beyond the scope of its programming and failed to mention it, even in passing. At least one periodical condemned them for the broadcast. ABC News also told me that these groups were actively attempting to interfere with my livelihood as an engineer.

My work continued to fall off. More and more wardens were refusing to speak to me or return my calls. Even states where I had major friendships had stopped discussions relative to execution equipment. One warden reported to me that he had been called by someone purporting to be the head of the Massachusetts Republican Party, requesting information on myself so they might draft capital punishment legislation. Being uncomfortable with the call, he advised me of the caller’s telephone number. I called this party and he lied to me as well, claiming a misunderstanding with the warden in question but telling me he was head of a group of concerned Republicans wishing to restore the death penalty in Massachusetts. His real name is Eric Redack. I too, sensing a fishing expedition, gave him no information. Two days later I was contacted by Channel 2 WGBH Television, in Boston, advising me that he had filed legislation, along with the Massachusetts Black Caucus, a group of black Massachusetts legislators, and others, to put me out of business and prevent me from manufacturing execution equipment here in Massachusetts. Channel 2 asked me my opinion of this bill (Senate No. 95), which has been effectively killed by the Massachusetts Legislature. I explained that the bill was unconstitutional because it violated Article I, Section 10 of the United States Constitution in that it was a bill of attainder, ex post facto legislation, and a restriction of free trade. Mr. Redack appeared on television as a representative of Amnesty International, stating that it was his intention (and that of those he represents) to “put Fred Leuchter out of business.”

Channel 2 Television in Boston had previously interviewed me under the pretext of a program on inadequate execution equipment in use across America, but subsequently spent most of the interview on The Leuchter Report. The broadcast included interviews with Shelly Shapiro and Beate Klarsfeld of the conspiratorial organizations mentioned above. I was vilified as a Nazi in these interviews, without the opportunity to respond. I protested this to the reporter, Christie George, who quickly apologized for her omission. But the damage had already been done.

I have been further interviewed, often in a very unflattering light, by both television and print media in recent months, most recently by the New York Times, where reporter Michael Hinds has even misrepresented the facts.

In early May I was contacted by the Engineering Board of the State of Massachusetts regarding a complaint filed with them by the Holocaust Suvivors and Friends in Pursuit of Justice. (The name of the complainant was not made available to me until the matter was brought before the court.) Subsequent to this contact, I was advised that I would have to go out of business or face criminal charges. I responded to the Board’s threat with a denial that any law had been violated. There was a subsequent hearing of fact to determine if a complaint should be issued before a clerk-magistrate in Maiden District Court, Middlesex County. The clerk had determined that for numerous reasons the complaint should ' not be issued, but when advised that the Holocaust Survivors and Friends in Pursuit of Justice had made the initial complaint, the clerk said that it would be better that he issue the complaint and allow the judge to dismiss it at a later time.

Although a representative of the ADL tried to force her testimony on the hearing, she was denied access based on the fact she had no evidence pertinent to the matter. I will be arraigned on the 23rd of October, in Malden.

The Massachusetts General laws, Chapter 112 clearly states that registration is required of engineers engaged in construction and who “assure compliance with specifications” for that purpose. Most engineers in Massachusetts (except those in construction) are not registered, and never have been. Additionally, I have not done any work in, or for, the State of Massachusetts. This is clearly a misapplication of the statute for the above stated, and for many other reasons.

Conviction under this statue is punishable by three months in jail and a five-hundred dollar fine.

While all this was in progress, I was awarded two contracts by the State of Illinois. The first was to clean and inspect the lethal injection machine I sold them several years ago, at Stateville Prison; the second, to repair the abuse the machine has suffered in the past three years, to test and certify the machine, and to supervise the upcoming execution of Charles Walker. Again, the unholy trinity — the Association of Holocaust Survivors etc., the Klarsfeld Foundation, and the ADL — reared its ugly head. This time several Jewish legislators threatened to introduce special legislation to prevent the Department of Corrections of the State of Illinois from dealing with me. After the vise of political threats had been applied, the Department of Corrections yielded and broke contracts with Fred A. Leuchter Associates, Inc.

Furthermore, corrections officials were pushed into vilifying me in the press and questioning my competence, all the while maintaining that the now defective lethal injection machine, which I had designed and built, was capable of a competent execution. In fact, the machine needed repair from the three years of abuse it had sustained (it demonstrated a seventy-percent failure rate). This was the State of Illinois’s greatest sin: proceeding with the execution of Mr. Walker aware of the great chance of failure. They not only violated my civil rights but those of Mr. Walker, whose rights they were sworn to uphold. In the course of events I advised Illinois that it was proceeding with the execution over my recommendations and objections and that I would not be responsible for the outcome. The State of Illinois would be accountable. Illinois’s response was that I would be held accountable for the execution in any event.

As the battle proceeded in Illinois, Ed Carnes, the Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alabama, generated a memorandum which he sent to all capital punishment states stating that I was dangerous, should not be dealt with and that I had unorthodox views on executions. Upon investigation, I found that my unorthodox views on executions meant that I support only humane executions (he apparently supports painful and inhumane executions) and further that, if the states that I deal with do not buy equipment from me, I go to court to stop executions in that state, an allegation that is ludicrous. In fact it is Mr. Carnes who is the problem. He lied to me in order to get me to support an upcoming execution and misrepresent the facts before an Alabama court, causing me to believe the last execution was humane. His conduct is a disgrace to the State of Alabama, which he represents.

I had received a contract to replace Alabama’s electrocution system first through a proposal and then via the bidding process. The finance department, apparently working with the office of the Attorney General, improperly wrote the contract but promised to correct the problem quickly. I was subsequently asked to support the next execution relying on the fact that prior problems in equipment had been corrected and that new equipment would be available for the next execution. I was informed that no correction would be made two days prior to the execution, putting me in a position of having misinformed the court and cancelling the contract. My failure to correct the misinformed court would be as embarrassing as my advising the court that I had been misinformed. I was also told that someone else wanted to re-bid the contract but without the support guarantees of humanity for the executee: i.e., training, test and certification. Coming as it did in coordination with the activities of the Office of the Attorney General, one has to assume the same perpetrators.

I have recently been informed that an unidentified source is spreading the lie that the lethal injection machine that I installed in Missouri, which has provided the five most humane and flawless executions in history, had failed during an execution, furthering the fear and distrust that has been spread throughout the past year.

So successful has this personal attack on me been that I have not received any equipment orders for more than a year. I estimate that more than three hundred thousand dollars have been lost to date. The only work I have been able to obtain is that of court expert in various states. If this continues, I will have been effectively put out of business. I have, however, been approved as an expert in execution technology and specifically electrocution technology in Federal District Court, the world’s only such expert recognized by a court.

Mr. Kirk D. Lyons, Esq., of Houston, Texas, the executive director of the Patriots Defense Foundation, Inc. will be representing me on the criminal charge and in the civil rights actions. He will also file a major civil action at a later date in Federal Court.

Editor’s note — 11/26/2002: According to Ken Brown (member NEHGS, e-mail tiphys at chartermi dot net), Mary Dyer, Marmaduke Stevenson, and William Robinson were all hung for violating the law which forbade Quakers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, not because they were “witches” but because they challenged the authority of the established Puritan church.

Source: Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 453-460.