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The Clinton Chronicles [Video]

The Clinton Chronicles: An Investigation into the Alleged Criminal Activities of Bill Clinton is a 1994 video produced by Patrick Matrisciana that accuses former president Bill Clinton of crimes in Arkansas. The video, which has been called a propaganda piece, put forward a conspiracy theory, the “Clinton Body Count,” regarding individuals whom Clinton was alleged to have had killed.

The Clinton Chronicles was produced by a group called Citizens for Honest Government of Westminster, California. Partially funded by Arkansan Larry Nichols, its parent organization was Creative Ministries, Inc. According to the New York Times, Nichols had been hired in the 1980s by Governor Clinton as marketing director for the Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA). In 1988, Nichols was fired by Clinton, who charged that Nichols had made a number of unauthorized phone calls to Central America while a state employee at ADFA. The Associated Press reported that Nichols made 642 calls at state expense from the ADFA office to Nicaraguan Contra rebels as well as to various politicians (including Arkansas congressman Tommy Robinson) and to other individuals. The report also stated there were 390 calls made by Nichols to a private business partner.

According to the Times, Nichols became convinced that Clinton himself had a Central American connection during the time he was governor, possibly involving cocaine shipments, gun-running, and money-laundering centering around the airport at Mena (Polk County). Nichols sued Clinton to contest his firing, also adding allegations of marital infidelity on Clinton’s part involving misuse of state funds. In 1992, Nichols dropped the suit.

In 1994, during Clinton’s presidency, The Clinton Chronicles video was released. Its promotion included an interview with Matrisciana, who, appearing in silhouette to conceal his identity, stated he was a journalist and feared his life was in danger. Matrisciana later said that his pretending to be a journalist was the idea of televangelist Jerry Falwell. Falwell had a speaking role in the film, paid for its production and circulation, and promoted it on his weekly television show.

Along with Larry Nichols, those billed as making an appearance in The Clinton Chronicles include former Arkansas Supreme Court justice Jim Johnson, Nora Waye, Julius “Doc” Delaughter, Russell Welch, Bill Duncan, Linda Ives, Charles Black, Gary Johnson, Paula Jones, Steve Jones, Gary Parks, Tom McKenney, and William Dannemeyer. Also appearing was former Arkansas secretary of state, lieutenant governor, and attorney general Winston Bryant.

Individuals who were allegedly killed by Bill Clinton and/or Hillary Clinton include prominent Little Rock (Pulaski County) attorney Herschel H. Friday, who died on March 1, 1994, in an aviation accident, and Vince Foster, deputy White House counsel during the Clinton administration. Foster fell into deep depression during his time in Washington DC and, according to several official investigations, committed suicide on July 20, 1993.

The website Snopes.com, which describes itself as “the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation,” investigated The Clinton Chronicles and its allegations of the “hit list” of people eliminated by Clinton and his associates. It determined that Clinton had been acquainted with some people who died, but “that’s about all one can make of this list,” reported Snopes, which continued, “Whereas a typical private citizen has a much smaller circle of acquaintance, those in public office come into contact with a great many people over the course of their careers. It is therefore not unusual to find at least a few accidental deaths, homicides, and suicides among any politician’s list of contacts (for example, a ‘body count’ list exists for the subsequent president, George W. Bush).”

The Clinton Chronicles video was said to have sold 150,000 copies, though it was also reported that many copies were bought by private groups and individuals for distribution, including to Washington DC journalists and members of Congress.

In 2015, after Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for president of the United States, The New Clinton Chronicles 2015 appeared on YouTube. Larry Nichols stars in this iteration, which includes both old and new conspiracy theories, with the additional allegation that it was Hillary Clinton who was the one serving as the mastermind. At the time of its release, Nichols was alleging that he had been a hitman for the Clintons and that he had killed or maimed a number of people.

For additional information:
Brownstein, Ronald, and Jane Hall. “Clinton Accuser to Drop Lawsuit.” Los Angeles Times, January 26, 1992. Online at http://articles.latimes.com/1992-01-26/news/mn-1476_1_larry-nichols (accessed November 9, 2016).

“Clinton Body Bags.” Snopes.com. http://www.snopes.com/politics/clintons/bodycount.asp (accessed November 9, 2016).

The Clinton Chronicles.” Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433674/ (accessed November 9, 2016).

Conason, Joe, and Gene Lyons. The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2000.

Hamilton, Nigel. Bill Clinton: Mastering the Presidency. New York: PublicAffairs Publishing, 2007.

Weiss, Philip. “The Clinton Haters: Clinton Crazy.” New York Times, February 23, 1997. Online at http://www.nytimes.com/1997/02/23/magazine/clinton-crazy.html?pagewanted=all  (accessed November 9, 2016).

Nancy Hendricks
Garland County Historical Society

Last Updated 11/29/2016

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