Richard Sherrow: Memories from Togo

I believe that some of the statements made by BATF Richard Sherrow deserve attention.

For the first couple of days in Lome, we were getting the “run around” and we were unable to conduct the investigation…

Why the delay? What was going on during these two days? In any case, not nearly the smooth mission described at the trial…

The equipment seized from the rebels was supervised by a 6’4″ heavy set colonel. On several occasions, he became very upset. At one point, he drew his weapon in anger.

I really hate it when that happens!

The MST 13 timers were located on the table with the explosives.

Well, I looked at the picture of that table again. Still nothing.

Batteries were in place on both timers. The connecting wires had been soldered to the posts.

I have a bad feeling about this one. I need to look at the SCCRC report again.

Both batteries were considerably drained.

This is a bit weird. New batteries should last quite a bit on this device. [Exact number will be posted soon.]

The timer (that he brought back to the US) was highly accurate.

Well, it all depends on your definition of “accurate”. But by “Swiss quality  standards”, it is not that accurate. We will discuss this point when we analyse the MST-13 timer.

No item seized from the rebels had a male connector compatible with the female connector of the timers.

That is too bad!

Sherrow believes that the two MST13 timers had been added to the material seized from the rebels.

Why did Sherrow feel this way? We simply do not know. Why do we not know? Because nobody EVER asked him! Was is not worthy of a simple question at the trial? I guess not.

DE33-P58 Smoking gun?

Related Posts

Attempted Coup in TOGO (23 /09/1986)



Togo Failed Coup Archives: Can you find a MST-13 Timer?



Sherrow FD302

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1 Response to Richard Sherrow: Memories from Togo

  1. Craig says:

    Observations about the trip;
    Its surprising three [3] representatives visited Togo apparently without the US in-country rep attending meetings etc.
    It could be there was a slip as to corect comment about Casey position;

    Q Did you have a look also at the — where the timer was situated?
    A I did not see the timer until it was brought to me outside the hut, when I was
    photographing things.
    Q And somebody asked you to photograph it?
    A Yes.
    Q Who was that?
    A It would have either been Mr. Sherrow

    or the security officer from the U.S. Embassy in

    Comment – It could be that Casey was the actual assigned security officer at US Embassy in Lome.
    This could make more sense as to his accompanying two [2] BATF Agents who have just flown in with no previous knowledge of the Country or the current state of play.

    Possibly make more sense that Casey wasn’t just the apparent bag man.


    What also seems puzzling is within Casey very short questions and answers, a missing question and therefore a missing answer;

    Q Was there a time when you were employed by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security?
    A Yes.
    Q That was also in the United States of America?
    A Yes, sir.

    The second apparent question – “That was also in the United States of America”
    It’s almost a statement or even an answer rather than a question, and what appears to be missing is the question – Were you assigned to US Embassy, Togo in 1986 ?



    Click to access sherrow-fd302.pdf

    Is there any further info as to the hand written notes on this information and when received and by whom.
    Noted, the information states 25 June 1990 which is, by all accounts, on or near discovery day but top left states 240890 and also another stamp of 27 August 1990.
    Also, could be a typo but as example, notes US spelling ‘color’ and also UK ‘coloured’.
    [Comment – Not a paramount issue but would be grateful any further info on this]

    Observations 1 – The Colonel
    Noted, the several days ‘run around’ and tensions between parties including the gun slinger Colonel at the time, no mention of these circumstances.

    Observation 2 – Who’s custody and possession ? Who supposedly did take the timer back to the US ?
    Source – Sherrowfd-302
    “Sherrow advised he was able to leave Togo with one of the timing circuit boards in his ‘possession’, returning to BATF laboratory.
    Subsequently, he obtained fresh batteries and was able to work the circuit board which he found to be highly accurate as a timer.”

    Comment – Noted, it states a ‘circuit board’ but further on states a ‘timer’.
    The next obvious observation is the story has always been Casey brought back 1 timer by diplomatic bag in his ‘custody’ and ‘possession’.
    In contradiction to Casey, Sherrow states 1 timer was brought back in his ‘possession’.

    Of course, this could make sense if there was 2 timers brought back.

    Q In September of 1986, were you employed by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security?
    A Yes, I was.
    Q And in that capacity, were you asked to go to Lome in Togo?
    A That’s correct. I was.
    Q And did you go in the company of two officers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and
    A Yes, I did.
    Q Mr. Sherrow and Mr. Owen?
    A That’s correct.
    Q When you arrived in Togo, after a little while were you taken to an army base and shown
    some items?
    A Yes, I was.
    Q And we understand that these items were laid out for inspection inside a hut?
    A That’s correct.
    Q And that there were a number of firearms and explosives?
    A That’s correct.
    Q And items associated with explosives?
    A Correct.

    Q Was there a particular electronic device [2897] that was drawn to your attention?
    A Yes, there was.
    Q Where did you first see that, Mr. Casey?
    A In that hut that you were describing.
    Q Inside the hut?
    A Inside the hut. That’s correct.
    Q Do you remember where inside the hut?
    A It was on a table. There were a number of tables that were formed in a rectangle, and on
    one of the tables was the timing device.

    Q I see. How many of such devices did you see there?
    A One.

    Q One. Were photographs taken of that device?
    A That’s correct.
    Q Who took the photographs?
    A I believe it was Mr. Owen that took the photographs.
    Q Yes. Was the timing device something which you took a particular interest in?
    A I did, yes.

    Q Why was that, Mr. Casey?
    A Because in comparison to the other items that were located inside of that hut, it was — it
    [2898] looked to be particularly modern or sophisticated.

    Everything else seemed to be old
    and worn; and it was not.

    Q And your colleague Mr. Sherrow, did he also take an interest in it?
    A Yes, he did.
    Q And did there come a stage prior to your departure when it was thought prudent to try
    and take some of the items with you?
    A Yes, that’s correct.
    Q And did you then enter into discussions to see if that would be possible?
    A Yes, we did.
    Q And in the result, were you permitted to take certain items?
    A Yes, we were. We were allowed to take items that were of interest to us.
    Q And did that include the timer you’ve been telling me about?
    A That’s correct.

    Q And how were the items transported from Togo?
    A I took possession of those items and brought them by way of Amsterdam, on an aircraft,
    to Washington, D.C. [2899]
    Q In your custody?
    A In my custody.
    Q And did that include the timer?
    A That’s correct.

    Q And on arrival in the United States of America, what did you do with the timer?
    A I brought it — I brought all the items of evidence, to my recollection, to the office where I

    Q And in due course, was the timer given to Mr. Sherrow?
    A That’s correct.

    Q I see. Would you look for me at Label Number 420, please, Mr. Casey.
    Is that an item that you recognise?
    A It certainly looks like the same timer that I saw in Lome, Togo, back in 1986.
    Q Yes. And the timer that you saw in Lome was removed to the United States of America?
    A That’s correct.

    Q And returned to the custody of Mr. Sherrow?
    A Correct.

    Q Thank you very much.

    Observation 3 – Green Paper Cover for Adhesive Strip
    Source: Sherrowfd-302
    “On the outside of the bottom of one timer was a double sided piece of sticky tape, white in color, and with protective cover paper which was a shade of green color. This could be used to fix the timer to something. It appears this sticky tape may have been removed from the bottom of the other timer.
    “Having taken the one timer with the sticky tape bottom, he had no information as to what happened to the remaining timer left behind, Sherrow was unaware of any similar timers having been found in Senegal during 1988.”

    Comment – It appears to state the timer Sherrow brought back to US in his ‘possession’ had the green paper covering already removed and had the sticky white colour adhesive showing but when one references the photos of the supposed timer brought back, this is a timer with green paper cover still intact, albeit a corner has been possibly carefully prised back, just enough to highlight it is an adhesive strip.
    What is also interesting is the timer supposedly handed over by the French Judge in 1999, the green paper covering strip had been removed, this surface is subsequently described as tan in colour but could be dust and/or dirt from the adhesive strip being exposed for a considerable period of time. The original whiteness of the colour could then appear tan over time.

    In any event, the photos of timer supposedly taken back from Togo, clearly show the green paper strip still in place and this does not appear to agree with Sherrow statement.
    Also, in the transcripts, Sherrow is asked about this more than once, the green paper covering present in the Togo photos and repeatedly acknowledges this is one and the same brought back to US but from reading his own previous fd-302 statement this appears to contradict.

    It is also interesting at no point does Sherrow acknowledge or provide his known information as to 1 timer had green paper backing still in place and another had the green paper covering removed, apparently exactly as is being shown to him right at the very time.
    I think that would have been helpful.


    Q Can I ask you to look at another object
    for me, please, Label 438.
    And can you tell me what the item is that you
    have in front of you now?
    A It appears to be a similar type timer.
    Q Now, do you see that it has attached to
    it a buff label, which gives a description of it and
    contains some signatures?
    A Yes.
    Q Can you just, for our assistance, read
    to us the description on the label.
    A It’s a description –“MST 13 timer.”
    Q And on the label, does it say where it
    came from?

    A It says: “Handed over by Judge
    Bruguiere, Paris, Ministry of Justice.”

    Q Thank you. And is there a date for
    A It is 27/10/99.

    Q Thank you. Have you seen that timer
    before, Mr. Sherrow?
    A No, sir, I haven’t.

    Q Is it in any way different from either
    of the timers that you saw in Lome?
    A Outside of some plastic being cut away,
    it appears to be identical.
    Q Does it have the same type of black
    connecting lead?
    A Yes, it does.

    Q Thank you. Can you look at the back of
    it for me?
    A Yes.
    Q Is there something there?

    A I see what appears to be the same type
    of double-sided tape.

    Q What colour is it?
    A This is kind of a tan. It appears the
    backing strip has been removed.

    Q I see. Is it possible for you to show
    us that, perhaps by using the projector just to your
    We have a view which is rather poorly focused
    just at the moment. Is it possible — that’s fine.
    Is it possible, perhaps, for you also,
    Mr. Sherrow, to place Label 420 beside the item which
    is currently on the projector. If it’s possible, I
    would like this one to be put alongside the one which
    is currently on the screen. Could you turn it around
    so that the tape strip is facing in the same direction?
    Thank you. I’m grateful.

    Now, Mr. Sherrow, the one with the green tape
    is the one that you brought back to the United States
    of America?
    A Yes, sir.

    Q And the one I am now asking you to look
    at is to its left and also has some sort of marking on
    the back?
    A Yes.
    Q Is there any difference in the size of
    the marking that you can tell?
    A They appear to be the same size.

    Q The one I’ve more recently asked you to
    look at is a different colour, though, isn’t it?
    A Yes.

    Q What was it you said to me, you thought
    something had been peeled off?
    A The tape that was on the back was a
    double-sided tape. The green backing would be peeled
    off so the item could adhere to another surface.

    Q I see. Thank you very much. And so if
    we peeled back the green tape on the timer you took to
    the United States, would we see something similar to
    that which we see on the other timer?
    A You should, yes, sir.

    Q Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Sherrow.

    Q I see. But this photograph was taken by your colleague?
    A Yes, it was.
    Q And if we then look at the next photograph, which I think was image 3, we see the back
    of a timer? [2883]
    A Yes.
    Q Now, it’s not in colour, so we can’t see what colour the strip is.
    A Correct.
    Q But there is what looks rather like a number “5″ —
    A Yes.
    Q — marked on it.

    Now, did you explain that there were markings of some sort on the timer that you took back
    to the United States?
    A There were markings that, as I said, appeared to be like a Magic Marker, and they were
    very easily rubbed off by hand contact.

    Q I see. What sort of texture does the tape have on the back of the timer that you took to
    the United States?
    A The double-sided tape, the peel-off portion was a very shiny, very slick surface,
    non-porous surface.

    Q So is that why the markings were easily rubbed off?
    A I would believe so.

    Q Now, if this is — and we’ll hear from your colleague about it. But if this is a photograph
    [2884] of the timer that was returned to the United States, which of the two timers that I
    asked you to look at a moment ago is this a photograph of?
    A May I look at the timers again?
    Q Yes. 438 and 420.
    A Okay. That would be Exhibit 420.

    Q Yes. Because only one timer was taken back to the United States, wasn’t it?
    A Yes.

    Q So if this is a photograph of the timer taken to the United States, it has to be a
    photograph of the timer you have in front of you?
    A Yes. There is also another indication on here that it is.
    Q What’s that, Mr. Sherrow?
    A As you look at the photograph of the tape with the number “5″ in the lower right-hand
    portion, there is a bend in the tape, as if it was lifted.
    Q Yes, we can see that on our screens.
    A The same item or the same mark is on the Exhibit 420.

    Q I see. However, is the number “5″ still visible on the item in front of you?
    A No, it’s not. Not on the actual item. [2885]
    Q So you mentioned to me that marks could easily be rubbed off —
    A Yes.

    Q — the tape which is attached to that timer. But, however that occurred, if this is a
    photograph showing the “5,” then it’s a photograph of the timer that was taken back to the
    United States?
    A Yes.

    Q Thank you.


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