It’s a mystery. Maybe.
Christopher Cramer, 50, of New Hampshire, was working for Advance Defense Systems of Kollsman, selling the Tow Missile system to the Saudis, when, last Wednesday, he fell from a third story window of the Sahara Makarim Hotel in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia.
Local authorities, and Cramer’s employers, claimed that he committed suicide. But family and friends insist this couldn’t possibly be true, suggesting instead that he was murdered.
The mystery, then, is in the reason anyone would push the defense systems expert out of his hotel room window.
“The problem was with the customer, ” Cramer’s attorney and longtime friend Noah Mandell told FoxNews.com, referring to the buyer, Saudi based Global Defense Systems. “The missile system was already sold to the Saudi company and they were complaining that it wasn’t working. He was basically sent to see if he could prove that they were firing it incorrectly.”
Mandell added that he believes the Tow Missile system had been sabotaged before Cramer arrived in Saudi Arabia, January 8.
“When Chris showed up everything was inoperable, ” Mandell said.
Mandell suspects that Global Defense Systems made the equipment malfunction, to get back some of their money.
“It’s like a used car scam, ” he told Fox News. “Like taking a car for a test drive and stopping to pop open the hood and crossing wires. Then you’re paying $5000 for a car that’s worth ten.”
But according to Kollsman, the systems were not malfunctioning.
“They showed up, they helped put it together and the demonstrations went without a hitch, ” a spokesman for Kollsman told FoxNews.com. “Everything was operating and fully functional. Chris had even posted a video of one of the missile firings.”
“He called me three times that night and left me messages saying that he was in danger and to call the State Department, ” Mandell insisted. “He was there, he was in danger, and I believe he was killed.”
The text messages Cramer sent from Saudi Arabia to his family members support Mandell’s claim.
One message comes with a picture Cramer had shot while testing the missile system earlier in January.
“We fired 6 missiles with one near miss, ” goes the text to his nephew, Christopher Arsenault. “Their M109s are old and full of problems.”
Arsenault texted back: “Lol easy fix or gonna take some time.”
Cramer replies: “They want to check out firing some of the new tow 2A RF link aeros and some extended range tow. I’ll be shooting them till Thursday and if they like the performance of our stuff, we’re gonna get an order for a ton of upgrades.”
Then, on Tuesday night, hours before his death, Cramer texted his family: “I’m in the Marakim Tabuk hotel in Saudi. I think something bad is going to happen to me tonight. Please contact State Dept. ASAP. Bad things were said.”
Doesn’t read like a suicide note, does it?