Scott Helvenston


Scott Helvenston

Stephen "Scott" Helvenston (June 21, 1965March 31 2004) was a former United States Navy SEAL, and worked as a security contractor for Blackwater Security when he was killed in the infamous 31 March 2004 Fallujah ambush within days of arriving in Iraq.

Helvenston was formerly a personal trainer for Hollywood celebrities such as Demi Moore (for "G.I. Jane"), and was also featured in the reality shows "Combat Missions" and "Man vs. Beast", in which he completed an obstacle course faster than a chimpanzee. Scott also stared in a reality series called "Extreme Expeditions: Model Behavior" months before he left for Iraq. The series was shot in Mexico and is finished; but has not aired yet. His great-great-uncle was Secretary of War Elihu Root.cite news
url=http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20060508&s=scahill
title=Blood Is Thicker Than Blackwater
author=Jeremy Scahill
publisher=The Nation
date=May 8, 2006
]

He joined the Navy at 16 with special permission, and thereafter became the youngest person to complete Navy SEAL training (at age 17). He spent 12 years in the Navy SEALs until he left in 1994.cite news
url=http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/IraqCoverage/story?id=650816&page=1
publisher=Primetime, ABC News
title=Mothers Say Mistakes Led to Fallujah Tragedy
date=April 7, 2005
]

Helvenston began training at Blackwater USA's facilities in March 2004, and developed a personal conflict with head trainer Justin "Shrek" McQuown. Helvenston arrived in Kuwait on March 18, where he was under the management of John and Kathy Potter, whom he knew from "Combat Missions".

Helvenston's contract

Employee John Potter had helped Blackwater win the contract to provide security for kitchen equipment convoys for the Kuwait company Regency Hotel and Hospital Company and Eurest Support Services (ESS was a subcontractor of Halliburton KBR). The contract billed Regency $815 a day; Helvenston and the other contractors were paid $600 a day.

The original contract called for at least three men per vehicle on security missions "with a minimum of two armored vehicles to support ESS movements." In addition the contract called for a heavily armed rear gunner, and time before any mission to review the route and conduct a risk assessment and pre-trip inspection.

Blackwater signed a revised contract with Regency on March 12, 2004 that removed the word "armored". Potter insisted that his men be given armored vehicles, however, and was removed as project manager on March 24, replaced by Justin McQuown.

McQuown

On March 27, two days before Helvenston's scheduled deployment to Iraq, McQuown reassigned him to a team leaving on the 28th, over the objections of numerous other Blackwater employees. Helvenston believed McQuown resented him and deliberately reassigned Helvenston at the last minute. In one of Helvenston's final emails before his death, he wrote to the owner of Blackwater, claiming McQuown's behavior was "very manipulative, duplicitive [sic] , immature and unprofessional," with the hidden agenda "Lets [sic] see if we can screw with Scott."

On March 30, McQuown sent Helvenston out with three other contractors, Jerry Zovko, Wesley Batalona and Michael Teague, to guard a convoy for ESS traveling from Baghdad to a military base west of Fallujah. They were in two unarmored vehicles and had no map.

Helvenston's death

Helvenston's team got lost on the way to the base and spent the night of the 30th at a Marine outpost outside of Fallujah. The next morning, March 31, they set out, intending to travel directly through the city. Iraqi insurgents ambushed the convoy. [ [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/warriors/contractors/highrisk.html frontline: private warriors: contractors: the high-risk contracting business | PBS ] ]

The four contractors were killed with grenades and small arms fire, their bodies dragged from their vehicles, beaten and set ablaze. Their burned corpses were then dragged through the streets. Helvenston's dismembered torso, along with that of one of his colleagues, was then hung from a bridge crossing the Euphrates.Fact|date=February 2008

Photos of the event were released to news agencies worldwide.

Aftermath

The families of the four slain contractors, led by Helvenston's mother Katy Helvenston-Wettengel and Donna Zovko, Jerry Zovko's mother, filed suit against Blackwater with lawyer Daniel Callahan on January 5, 2005 ("Helvenston et al. v. Blackwater Security") alleging wrongful death.

The suit alleges that Blackwater repeatedly made decisions that made the deaths of the contractors more likely in order to save money. These alleged decisions include not buying armored vehicles to save $1.5 million and removing the employee, John Potter, who complained about that action; and violating the contract by not sending out a six-man team with rear gunners and conducting a pre-trip risk assessment.

The suit further alleges that McQuown intervened and ordered only a four-man team be sent, although six were available, the other two remaining to perform clerical duties.

Blackwater countersued for $10 million. The suits are pending.

ee also

References

External links

* [http://www.sealtraining.com/ Scott Helvenston's personal workout video website, now maintained by his family]
* [http://www.realitytvworld.com/index/articles/story.php?s=2437 Description of Helvenston's reality show career]
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0375893/ Scott Helvenston] page on IMDB
* [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/warriors/view/ Private Warriors] - PBS Frontline
* [http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/04/20/1340246&mode=thread&tid=25 Blackwater in the Crosshairs: The Families of Four Private Security Contractors Killed in Fallujah File a Ground-Breaking Lawsuit] - Democracy Now! coverage April 20, 2006


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Helvenston et al. v. Blackwater Security — is the lawsuit for wrongful death filed by the families of the four contractors for Blackwater Security who were slain in the 31 March 2004 Fallujah ambush [ [http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/09/17/news/iraq.php?page=1 Iraqis revoke license of… …   Wikipedia

  • Blackwater Worldwide — Infobox Company company name = Blackwater Worldwide company vector logo = company type = Private military security firm foundation = 1997 founder = Erik Prince location city = location country = location = 850 Puddin Ridge Road Moyock, North… …   Wikipedia

  • Combat Missions — Genre Reality Television Presented by Rudy Boesch Country of origin …   Wikipedia

  • Iraq War — This article is about the war that began in 2003. For other uses, see Iraq War (disambiguation). Further information: 2003 invasion of Iraq and Post invasion Iraq …   Wikipedia

  • Cofer Black — Born Joseph Cofer Black 1950 (age 60–61) Stamford, Connecticut Alma mater University of Southern California Occupation …   Wikipedia

  • 31 March 2004 Fallujah ambush — Part of Iraq War Type Ambush Location Fallujah, Iraq Target Blackwater USA personnel Date …   Wikipedia

  • Blackwater Baghdad shootings — Coordinates: 33°18′08″N 44°21′23″E / 33.30222°N 44.35639°E / 33.30222; 44.35639 On September 16, 2007 …   Wikipedia

  • March 31 — << March 2011 >> Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa 1 2 3 …   Wikipedia

  • Fallujah — Infobox Settlement official name = Pagename other name = Fallujah native name = ArB|الفلوجة nickname = settlement type = motto = imagesize = image caption = Fallujah Mosque flag size = image seal size = image shield = shield size = city logo =… …   Wikipedia

  • Blackwater Security Consulting — Infobox Company company name = Blackwater Security Consulting company vector logo = company type = Private military security firm foundation = 1997 founder = Erik Prince location city = location country = location = 850 Puddin Ridge Road Moyock,… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.