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Mary Caitrin Mahoney 

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It’s been 15 years since the murder of former White House intern Mary Caitrin Mahoney, along with two of her co-workers at a Georgetown Starbucks. And though a career criminal named Carl D. Cooper confessed to the crime, many questions still linger to this day…

On July 7, 1997, the bodies of 25 year-old Mahoney and two others, Emory Allen Evans (also age 25) and Aaron David Goodrich (age 18) were all found in the cold storage room by the morning crew at the Starbucks Coffee shop where Mahoney worked as a night manager. All had been shot to death.

Evans and Goodrich also worked at the Starbucks, located in the relatively low crime area of Burleith, north of Georgetown in DC. The store was not robbed.  One local radio stationed reported that all three were shot in the head but that one body was riddled with bullets.

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Mary Mahoney's Body Removed from Georgetown Starbucks

Mahoney’s body is removed from the Georgetown Starbuck’s crime scene

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It happened in the days following Matt Drudge’s initial leaks of Michael Isikoff’s report on alleged Clinton sexual dalliances, which eventually led to the Lewinsky scandal. Also at the time, another former employer of Ms. Mahoney’s, Labor Secretary Alexis Herman, was under scrutiny for an alledged pay-off involving a satellite telephone system.

Ms. Mahoney had recently fired an employee she suspected of taking money from the till. Nevertheless, some researchers added this murder to the statistically-anomalous list of deaths associated with the Clinton administration.

After a controversial delay, police ran DNA tests on the sneakers of their one suspect in the Mahoney murder, the disgruntled employee, but could not connect them to the crime. In December, three men were arrested for a related murder — that of an informant assisting police in the Starbucks case.

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Carl D. Cooper - Mugshot

Carl D. Cooper confessed to the crime, was convicted and sentenced to life

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For two years, working only on a tip from a caller into America’s Most Wanted, police pursued one Carl D. Cooper, but never had enough evidence to make a case against him. That is, until he confessed after a 54-hour interrogation. He later recanted the confession.

Eventually, Cooper was found guilty on nearly 50 counts which included several charges of racketeering, robbery, and the Starbucks murders. The Washington Post reported during his trial that Cooper told FBI agents: “I swear on my father’s grave and my son’s life that I didn’t do Starbucks.”

Cooper‘s attorney Steven Kirsch told US District Court Judge Joyce Hens Green: “No matter how many times Mr. Cooper denied his involvement, they kept pressuring him. They kept pressuring him until they got what they wanted.”

Cooper is now serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison.

Despite the conviction, many are not convinced that the murders were the result of a botched robbery, as Cooper reportedly told police. Though Cooper has also claimed he did not act alone, and was only a lookout, no one else has ever been charged or even considered as a suspect in the murders.

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Mary Mahoney Murder - Georgetown Starbucks Crime Scene Photo

Official crime scene photo shows the interior of the Georgetown Starbucks

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The following strange circumstances were discovered around the murder scene:

1)  The store’s doors had been locked from the outside, as if the night crew had locked them before leaving the night before, as they did every night. Apparently, the assailant(s) locked up behind them after committing the murders.

2)  Nothing in the store was out of place. Though there were thousands of dollars in cash on hand, not one dime had been taken from the day’s receipts. This fact would seem to rule-out a robbery.

3)  Despite being located in the densely populated Georgetown neighborhood, no one heard the shots. This fact suggests the assailant(s) used a silencer which would point to a professional hit.

4)  While all three of the Starbucks employees had been shot, the former intern Mahoney was shot five times, once in the back of the head.

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Bill Clinton

Apparently Clinton saw any female in his orbit as fair game for sexual predation

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Mahoney worked on Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign, and worked as an intern during Clinton’s first term, arranging tours of the White House. She left the White House in 1995 and took a job at the Georgetown Starbucks as an assistant manager. Another intern, Monica Lewinsky, reportedly frequented the store and became friendly with Mahoney.

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Paula Jones Penthouse Spread

The first to come forward, Paula Jones was one of the winners who got paid

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Mahoney’s execution-style killing occurred amid the pre-trial media coverage of the Paula Jones lawsuit against Clinton, and only three days after Mike Isikoff of Newsweek announced that a “former White House staffer” was coming-out with her story of being sexually harassed while working for Bill Clinton.

As it turned out, Isikoff was talking about Kathleen Willey, but given the number of women with whom Clinton had approached for sex, it could have been a host of women.

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Kathleen Willey

Kathleen Willey says Bill Clinton sexually harassed her and killed her husband

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Author David M. Hoffman, spent a year investigating Mary Mahoney’s murder, and told Globe Magazine columnist Tom Kuncl that her murder came only three days after Lewinsky told the president that she was going to tell her parents about the relationship. Lewinsky said that Clinton had a violent reaction to this news, informing her: “It’s a crime to threaten the President.”

The Starr Report confirmed this account.

Hoffman said: “Monica took the threat seriously, telling Linda Tripp that she feared for both their lives if her affair with Clinton ever became public.”

Lewinsky apparently told many of her friends: “I don’t want to wind up like Caity Mahoney.”

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Time Cover - Monica Lewinski

But Lewinsky’s fate couldn’t be further removed from Mahoney’s in the end

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Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton

Instead of a bullet to the back of the head she got a high-dollar book deal

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Monica Lewinski Posing Semi-Nude in Black Lingerie

Then came the talk-show circuit, modeling assignments, and her own TV show

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Hoffman also claims that Mahoney knew a great deal about Clinton’s sexual appetite and the number of interns the president approached for sex went far beyond his affair with Lewinsky.

Hoffman told the Globe: “For many months, Mary, an outspoken lesbian and good-hearted den mother for other young White House interns, had been listening to tearful stories from them about alleged sexual passes made at them by Bill Clinton. She’d begun to tell others she planned to do something to help them.”

To this day, many questions surrounding the murder of Mary Mahoney remain unanswered, and given the history of Washington scandals and cover-ups, those questions are likely to stay that way.

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Mary Catherine Mahoney

Mary Caitrin Mahoney

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Bibliography

 

“D.C. Judge Rejects Lawsuit against Firearms Makers,” The Washington Post, December 17, 2002.

Fernandez, Maria and Cheryl Thomas, “Detained Man Names Two Others in Starbucks Case,” The Washington Post, March 5, 1999.

“Key Player: Monica S. Lewinsky,” Washingtonpost.com, October 5, 1993.

Leen, Jeff. “A Dance with Death,” The Washington Post Magazine. March 2, 2003.

Miller, Bill. “Starbucks Suspect Faces Host of Charges,” The Washington Post, August 5, 1999.

� “Jury Awards $98 Million in Slaying of DC Informant,” Drug Police News, October 21, 1999.

�”Statements Challenged in Starbucks Triple Slaying,” The Washington Post, January 13, 2000.

�”Cooper Sentenced to Life for Starbucks Killing,” The Washington Post, April 26, 2000.

�”Starbucks Case Hit List Alleged,” The Washington Post, February 15, 2000.

�”Statements Admissible in Starbucks Slaying,” The Washington Post, February 2, 2000.

�”‘He was Willing to Talk’; Police Deny Pressuring Starbucks Triple Slaying,” January 14, 2000.

Mooar, Brian and Linda Wheeler. “D.C. Police Delayed Seizing Possible Starbucks Evidence,” The Washington Post, September 30, 1997.

Slevin, Peter. “Starbucks Manager Resisted Robber, Court is Told,” The Washington Post, March 18, 1999.

“Starbucks Affidavit,” The Washington Post, March 17, 1999.

Thompson, Cheryl. “Starbucks Suspect ‘Just Started Shooting,” The Washington Post, April 27, 1999.

Thompson, Cheryl and John Fountain. “One Year Later, Starbucks Slaying Still Unsolved.,” The Washington Post, July 6, 1998.

Vogel, Steve and Cheryl Thompson. “Three Employees Killed at D.C. Starbucks,” The Washington Post, July 9, 1997.

Wheeler, Linda. “Coffee Shop Emerges from the Shadow of a Crime,” The Washington Post, February 21, 1998.

�”Pressure on Police in Starbucks Shootings,” The Washington Post, February 15, 1998.

Wheeler, Linda and M. E. Fernandez,” Police Question Man in Series of Crimes,” The Washington Post, March 3, 1999.

�”Lone Starbucks Suspect Charged,” The Washington Post, March 6, 1999.

Wheeler, Linda and Bill Miller, “Undercover Job Costs D.C. Informant his Life,” The Washington Post, December 6, 1997.

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