Murder of Seth Rich
Seth Conrad Rich (January 3, 1989 – July 10, 2016) was fatally shot in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C. He was a 27-year-old employee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Early life and career
At the time of his death, Rich was the Voter Expansion Data Director at the DNC, where he had been employed for two years and had worked on a computer application to help voters locate polling stations.
Death and aftermath
Rich was shot about a block from his home in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Police were alerted to gunfire at 4:20 am by an automated gunfire locator called ShotSpotter. Rich was found conscious but later died in the hospital. Newsweek reported that police said he may have been killed in an attempted robbery and that the neighborhood had recently been plagued by robberies. Although Rich's watch strap was torn, nothing had apparently been taken from him. According to police, he died from two shots to the back. Rich's girlfriend told NBC Washington, "There had been a struggle. His hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything...They didn't finish robbing him, they just took his life."
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued a statement mourning the loss and praising Rich's work "to protect the most sacred right we share as Americans — the right to vote." Hillary Clinton spoke of this fatality during a speech advocating limiting the availability of guns. Rich's parents and girlfriend appeared on Crime Watch Daily to speak about the murder case. In October 2016, a plaque and bike rack outside the DNC headquarters were dedicated to Rich's memory. In February 2017, the Beth El Synagogue in Omaha named an existing scholarship after Rich, one which helps Jewish children attend summer camps. On March 19, 2017, Seth Rich's brother Aaron started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the murder investigation.
Newsweek reported that the murder stoked right wing "Clinton conspiracy theories" and that Rich's parents were "distressed" by the politicization of his murder.
Rewards for information
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPDC) posted its customary reward of $25,000 for information about the death. In August, WikiLeaks offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction; Rich's family said that they were unable to verify this reward offer. Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman has offered an additional $105,000.
- Morton, Joseph. "D.C. police, family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich urge anyone with information about murder to come forward", Omaha World-Herald (August 4, 2016; Updated August 10, 2016).
- Morton, Joseph. "WikiLeaks offers $20,000 reward for help finding Omaha native Seth Rich's killer", Omaha World-Herald (August 10, 2016; Updated August 11, 2016): "Rich had worked for the DNC for two years and helped develop a computer program to make it easier for people to find polling places on Election Day."
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- Morton, Joseph (November 23, 2016). "Parents of DNC staffer Seth Rich vow to find his killer; reward now $125,000". Omaha World Herald. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
- "GOP lobbyist adds $5K to reward for info on murder of former DNC staffer Seth Rich", WJLA-TV (December 5, 2016).
- Roig-Franzia, Manuel (January 18, 2017). "Seth Rich wasn't just another D.C. murder victim. He was a meme in the weirdest presidential election of our times". The Washington Post.
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