FBI Investigation in Shawano Offers No New Answers One Year Later

By: Mikel Lauber Email
By: Mikel Lauber Email

For one year, the FBI has simply told 60 officials and residents of the Shawano area to be watchful, and vigilant after their names appeared on an apparent hit list. But there has been no more word from the FBI about who was responsible, or what's being done about the apparent threats. And those on the list are asking why.

"Here we are, a little over a year right now and nothing's resolved", said Mike Schuler, Administrator for the Town of Wescott. "Yes, very frustrating. What the heck do you do next? I don't know."

This September, nearly a year after they learned about the list, the FBI turned their case over to the US Attorneys office, who said there wasn't enough evidence for charges. This has officials asking what the FBI's investigation has accomplished.

The FBI and local law enforcement said the investigation into the list was focused on the Samanta Roy Institute of Science and Technology. But Alan Eisenberg, the attorney for SIST, has repeatedly said no one from the organization has been questioned. Canadian Businessman Bob Cameron claimed in an interview with NewsChannel 7 and the CBS Evening News that he was hired as the 'hit man' to 'take care of' the people on the list. He says he wore a wire and worked with the FBI last year until they told him they had what they needed. But Cameron tells us he hasn't spoken with authorities about the incident since.

Those on the list say the only information they've heard about the investigation since that meeting last November has come from the media. They're anxious for the day they can stop looking over their shoulder. "You were supposed to watch your back and watch what you're doing. The FBI has not done a thing that i know of, and haven't told the media they've done anything", said Schuler. "So what has changed? The threat is still there."

Shawano City Alderman Bob Kurkiewicz says friends and family still regularly ask him about the investigation and worry about his safety. He says his family decided not to tell his 92-year-old mother, so she wouldn't have to worry about him. He says he's hopeful, but frustrated. "We hope keeping it in the forefront in the news will help the FBI renew their efforts toward getting a resolution to this", Kurkiewicz said. "We're confused and frustrated as to what's going on."

The FBI tells us the case is still open, so they can't make any comments about the progress. But Shawano officials say after a year with apparently no progress, they're discouraged. "I have no confidence in the operation at all", said Schuler.

"If [the FBI] do close [the case], that may not be the worst thing", said Kurkiewicz. "Maybe our local investigators could take it from there... that would be a good thing, perhaps."

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