NBC cameraman John Hillyer had been working on an investigation of a drug-smuggling operation in Mena, Arkansas, while Clinton was governor. He also helped with a 30-minute video called “Circle of Power” and “The Clinton Chronicles.”
As WND reported, video journalist Pat Matrisciana (producer of “The Clinton Chronicles”) began working on the film project in the early 1990s, he didn’t realize what he and his cameraman were getting into.
“I had been contacted by a man named John Hillyer, an NBC cameraman who wanted to tell the real story about what was happening in Arkansas,” he said.
When Matrisciana and Hillyer arrived in Arkansas and began interviewing people for the video, the criminality and intrigue were far worse than they had imagined.
“It was like going into some sort of banana republic that was run by a dictatorship,” he said. “We were followed on a regular basis.”
Matrisciana set up a “safe house” in an apartment complex in Little Rock where he and other journalists and investigators would meet to discuss stories of drug trafficking in Mena, the murder of two teenage boys there and whether or not Bill Clinton was involved in any of those activities.
Hillyer and Matrisciana developed a friendship with Gary Parks, the son of Jerry Luther Parks, a former security chief of Clinton’s presidential campaign. According to Matrisciana, Jerry Parks had been hired several years earlier by Vince Foster on behalf of Hillary Clinton to put Bill Clinton under constant surveillance. Gary would go on surveillance stakeouts with his father as Jerry gathered photographic evidence of Clinton visiting with prostitutes, Gennifer Flowers and other women.
When Vince Foster’s body was found in Fort Marcy Park (see “Vince Foster” entry), Jerry became paranoid that he might also be targeted for murder. He was right. When Jerry was assassinated in his car in September 1993, Gary and Jerry’s widow believed it was related to his surveillance of Clinton.
Gary Parks regularly stayed at the safe house, but was awakened one night when the door was kicked open by would-be assassins. When he quickly loaded his M-1 carbine, the sound of the bullet being chambered scared off the killers and they fled into the parking lot. Gary went to the window and thought he recognized one of the men as a member of the Gov. Clinton’s security staff.
On another occasion, when Matrisciana and others were preparing for a radio talk show at the safe house, an investigator scanned the apartment for “bugs” and discovered eight of them.
During the course of their investigation, Matrisciana and Hillyer discovered a trail of unsolved murders of people who knew details about the teens’ deaths. Others who died mysteriously had inside information on drug ties to the political establishment in Arkansas. On one occasion, Hillyer was planning to conduct an interview with a former official of the Democratic National Committee, but the man never showed up for the interview. Hillyer learned the next day that the man, C. Victor Raiser II, and his son, Montgomery Raiser, had died in a plane crash. (See “C. Victor Raiser II and Montgomery Raiser” entry.)
Matrisciana and Hillyer were also going to interview a hermit who lived in the mountains near where the teens had been killed. Two days before the scheduled interview, the hermit died.
Hillyer started to fear for his own life, telling Matrisciana that he thought they would kill him by making it look like he had a heart attack. After the film was completed, Hillyer went on to other projects and ended up living in Atlanta. In 1996, Matrisciana received a phone call from Hillyer. John told him he had uncovered new information that needed to be put on video, but that they couldn’t talk on an unsecured phone. They planned on meeting to discuss the new information, but Hillyer died of a heart attack three days later.
Did someone get to Hillyer? Matrisciana doesn’t know. Were the hermit and DNC official killed for what they knew? Or were these simply coincidences? Again, Matriciana said he doesn’t know, but he did think the deaths were unusual, considering the number of other people who have died under mysterious circumstances in Arkansas.