Wednesday, June 08, 2005

For Los Alamos, a New Puzzle: The Case of the Battered Whistle-Blower

Published: June 9, 2005

SANTA FE, N.M., June 8 - Los Alamos National Laboratory, which unlocked the secrets of the nuclear age, is pondering a new mystery: Who beat up the whistle-blower?

Early Sunday morning, Tommy Ray Hook, an auditor who has accused the laboratory's management of accounting irregularities, was severely beaten in the parking lot of Santa Fe's only topless dance club.

Mr. Hook, 52, is not sure how many men attacked him but he told CBS News they delivered a message: He should keep his mouth shut.

Mr. Hook suffered a fractured jaw, concussion, herniated disk and other injuries, including boot marks on his face. He was released from the hospital Tuesday night.

As in any good mystery, multiple versions of what happened are playing out as the local police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, private investigators, reporters and people from a variety of organizations interested in nuclear issues vie to uncover the truth.

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