Nuclear Scientist’s Death Called Murder

News Brief: Nov. 2009

News | Vienna Review | November 2009

A second autopsy on the body of nuclear scientist Timothy Hampton has raised questions about the original verdict of suicide after a fall from the UN building in Vienna.

Dr. Kathrin Yen, of the Ludwig Institute in Graz, who performed the examination, reported evidence that Hampton did not commit suicide as originally claimed by another physician.

"In my opinion, it does not look like suicide," the doctor told reporters, saying she was not in possession of the police reports. "We did a CT scan. From the external exam, I saw injuries on the neck but these were not due to strangulation."

Hampton, 47, a British national employed with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), was found dead last week at the bottom of a staircase in the United Nations’ building in the city’s 22nd District. At the time of his death, he was involved in studies monitoring tremors around the world to uncover illegal nuclear tests.

Initial reports said that Hampton may have been involved in disarmament talks between Iran and Western governments, but a CTBTO spokesman later denied his connection with the discussions.

The second autopsy came as a result of objections to the verdict by his widow, Olena Gryshcuk. She suggested that Hampton may have been carried to the 17th floor from his workplace on the sixth floor and thrown down from the height.

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