FBI request Re: Mel Phillips

David Bixenspan filed this request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America.
Tracking #

1377360-000, DOJ-AP-2018-001222

Status
Rejected

Communications

From: David Bixenspan

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act, which should be fulfilled digitally via email attachment, web upload, or CD-ROM, with all correspondence sent via email. I should be categorized as a media requester. This request is part of my reporting process, and I will use the materials in my coverage for Deadspin. I hereby request the following records:

All records mentioning or otherwise relevant to former Titan Sports/World Wrestling Federation ring announcer and road crew staffer Mel Phillips, full name Melvin Douglas Phillips. As proof of death I have attached the LexisNexis profile entry for Phillips.

Please search for as well as provide the results and products of all of the following:
* Main file records.
* Cross-reference records.
* The products of an ELSUR search.
* All records of past requests and denials for records pertaining to this case file.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. Again, I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment or web upload if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

David Bixenspan

  • Mel20Phillips20LexisNexis20profile20with20date20of20death.pdf

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: David Bixenspan

This is an appeal under the Freedom of Information Act of FOIPA #1377360-000.

The responsive documents appear to be incomplete on their face for a few reasons:

1. Per the attached wire story, there was a federal investigation going back several months beforehand.
2. The scenario outlined in the responsive documents is not how the investigation began.
3. It strains credulity to suggest that the investigation would have ended after a few weeks because Mel Phillips was not home on the day that the investigators visited.
4. The general nature of the child molestation allegations against Phillips, as well as his M.O., are well-known (see attached San Diego Union Tribune article), so those details should not be redacted even if names have to be removed.

As for the missing pages, my best guess would be that, for whatever reason, the search results for Phillips on the old FBI system were not cross-referenced with the larger investigation of Titan Sports, also known as the World Wrestling Federation. Please cross-reference with such records. But regardless of what happened, the responsive documents are clearly incomplete and this request needs to be reprocessed. Also, please note for the purposes of redaction that Tom Cole and Chris Loss went public in the attached Union Tribune article as victims of Phillips and as such should not have their names redacted.

Based on my research, the following case FBI case IDs all appear to have some relevance and I hope that providing them will help you complete the search:

190-NY-183086
190-NY-271306
196B-NY-234993

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Thanks,
David Bixenspan
Deadspin.com

  • Daily_News_Wire_Services_story_on_federal_investigation_into_Mel_Phillips__amp__the_WWF.pdf

  • Sleaze20no20illusion20in20world20of20wrestling20by20Jeff20Savage2003-11-9220San20Di.pdf

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

11/29/2017 04:44 PM FOIA Request: DOJ-AP-2018-001222

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

DOJ-AP-2018-001222 has been processed with the following final disposition: Affirmed on Appeal.

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