The Marine Corps insists that Col. James E. Sabow shot himself to death in 1991. His brother, Dr. David Sabow, has dedicated his life to proving the military ruling wrong. The Los Angeles Times today profiles the Sabow case, which has attracted the attention of U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, the California Republican who is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
Dr. Sabow, a neurologist from South Dakota, acknowledges that the cause has consumed him. He has lost his medical practice, most of his savings and nearly his marriage. He insists that his brother, a highly decorated Vietnam fighter pilot, was a victim of a drug-conspiracy murder. Government officials, legislators and others who have dealt with Sabow say he is unwilling to accept overwhelming evidence that the killing was self-inflicted. The Navy, the Marines, the Defense Department and the FBI have all reexamined the evidence in response to Sabow’s prodding. Each time, investigators reaffirmed that the death was a suicide. Now, Congressman Hunter has inserted a provision in the 2004 defense appropriations bill requiring the Pentagon to take a fresh look at the death.