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Michael Hastings' Inferno
#1
Michael Hastings’ Inferno
 
The following is a synopsis of a mystery that grabbed me by the crosshairs.
 
It poses the question: Was Michael Hastings a victim of “that’s life” –or– _ Fill in the blank _ …?

I was only tangentially aware of Michael Hastings prior to his death…with said awareness coming with the unexpected resignation of General Stanley McChrystal a few years earlier.
Upon seeing a thread (
originated by GrantedBail on ATS), the evening of June 18, 2013, my initial interest piqued at the apparent absurdity of the surface story.

Later, after substantial investments of time & effort (into fleshing facts from the data that was gradually made available), and ultimately, when finding that no more information would be forthcoming…I was left…wanting……another look.

And now that this story has been frequently referenced regarding the recent tragic death of the young man (Harrison Deal) in Georgia who was a member of the reelection campaign for Senator Kelly Loeffler (and who, reportedly, had dated / or was dating Governor Kemp’s daughter), I hope a rehash of this unresolved* mystery might be of interest to you, as well.

IMO – this was a botched investigation by the LAPD.
I have no personal qualms with the LAPD…
No vendetta or axe to grind… EXCEPT, perhaps …as regards this case.

I can understand coming upon such a scene…not knowing ‘who’ or ‘any context’…just – “Too Fast – (
for some reason – which was quickly explained with – “prescription marijuana card”) and out of control” – and then, all suspicions confirmed when interviewing a brother who had just come to town with the intent of convincing the (now)-deceased into rehab… … …

I do not hold the fact that their initial assessment was “Wrong” (“No Foul Play – SOnothing to investigate!)…against them.

But – after peripheral circumstances and subsequent facts (that did not jive with said “assessment”) came to light…they chose to “gamble” on the initial conclusion, rather than launch a legitimate investigation into the matter…

And THIS (IMO) highlights a traitorous disregard for their office & oath, and…in most honor-laden circles…would count as dereliction of duty & gross negligence.

If you are not aware, there were numerous threads (
on ATS) regarding this ‘mystery’… (you can contact me by private message for a list, if so inclined)


[Image: LT49MTW]
Briefly – for those unfamiliar with, or foggy on the story/mystery:

At approximately 4:20 a.m., June 18, 2013, the 2013-model C-Class Mercedes (
belonging/leased to the 33 year old investigative journalist – Michael Hastings - hereafter sometimes also referred to as “Michael” and/or “MH”) – was travelling in a southerly direction, at a much higher rate of speed than is typical and practical for the surroundings, and crashed, head-on, into a palm tree situated in the median of North Highlands Avenue between Melrose Ave and Clinton Street (Hollywood, California), entirely ejecting its engine and transmission (another 200 +/- feet) , and, according to eye-witness & video accounts, erupting immediately (or “exploding”) into a raging inferno.


As the story developed, we next heard (in a WikiLeaks tweet) that…“only hours” before his demise, Michael Hastings had contacted the lawyer for WikiLeaks, Jennifer Robinson, with some concern that he was being investigated by the FBI.
From later revelations, we might deduce that this contact came through an email brought to light shortly thereafter…
Though, by virtue of the brevity of the WikiLeaks Tweet, &/or of any follow-up/s to said Tweet, we are left to wonder… … …

Consecutively – there is the referenced email that was, likewise, sent to Staff Sgt. Joe Biggs (
further addressed, below)…
There is much about this email that calls into question the credibility of the ‘Official Story’…
1st – the recipients were all business associates…except… ONE …(
& Only One)…who stepped out of the shadows to alert “the Public” that…“something is screwy, here” (by disclosing the contents of said email)… …with that recipient being Staff Sergeant Joe Biggs…with whom Michael Hastings had not communicated in some 3 to 4 months (according to the testimony of ‘Biggs’ and other corroborating witnesses).
Signifying – We would/might not even know of the email &/or its contents, had it not been for the…odd—ball—bcc—addition…to the email’s recipient list.

****NOTE**** It was not until the other…open-view…recipients were contacted by an LA TV station…&…they admitted to having received the same email…that anyone was willing to give credence to Biggs’ claim.
****NOTE2**** Aside from WikiLeaks tweeting that Jennifer Robinson had been *contacted* by MH ‘only hours before the fatal crash’…NOT ONE OTHER RECIPIENT…counted the email important enough to…make the public aware of the same.
----- Were They all scared SH*TLess…TOO?
----- Did they discount its severity…?
----- Did…not ONE…of them…care?
----- Or… …
----- …What……!?!

Two* video recordings captured aspects & pieces of this tragedy.
The first (
video “1a) into the public eye was captured incidentally by the dash cam of a LoudLabs vehicle (driven by Scott Lane), idling on the south side of Santa Monica Blvd., facing eastward (facing North Highlands Avenue).
Said video revealed the Mercedes as it sped through the intersection’s stop light toward Melrose Avenue.


Video 1a




My calculations have placed the Mercedes’ speed in a range of 60-75 mph, at this point.
This LoudLabs video comes back into play as – after the Mercedes had passed through the dash-cam’s field of view, ‘Lane decided to turn in for the night, and began driving eastward on Santa Monica Blvd., when radio traffic on the Emergency Services Scanner (
or – Police ?) caught his attention…and, he began, with some urgency, to make his way back in the direction of “south of the intersection of Melrose’ and North Highland’”.
There are two versions of this video…
The one that was most watched, is not only ‘edited’, but involves two cameras.
The other (
Video “1b) is much longer (~ 25 minutes), and from the dash cam, only.

Video 1b





The 2nd video is of a lesser video-quality (though, at least as significant in content), being a restaurant security camera perched above the North Highland Ave entrance to Pizzeria Mozza, situated on the southwest corner of Melrose Ave @ North Highland’.
This video caught the last couple of seconds of the Mercedes’ trip, ending at the tree, including the ‘explosion’, eruption-into-fireball and raging blaze.

 
Video 2




From the start, LAPD maintained that there was no reason to consider that foul play was involved.
Said LAPD met with Michael Hastings’ brother (
Jonathan – who had arrived in L.A. *the day before*), within a couple of hours of the Coroner finding the wallet with Driver’s License…and…‘suspected drug use’ seemed to be the general/primary focus of their inquiries.
(A medical marijuana card was retrieved from the wallet…at the scene of the crash.)
The brother’s answers did nothing to temper their suspicion…rather…sealing the deal with the department.
And…aside from (
1) filing their reports on June 19th (Investigation Complete), (2) performing/completing the autopsy on June 20th  (3) twiddling thumbs for two months (or – ‘til August 20th), while awaiting the results of toxicology reports ordered by the coroner, and (4) taking 48 photos at the scene of the accident… …they…were…done.

As soon as the email’s contents were broadcast…the FBI, uncharacteristically, made a public announcement – “At no time was Michael Hastings under investigation by the FBI”.
Though…!!!!!,,,
,,, Months later …In response to a court order in a federal FOIA request/suit: on September 9th, 2013, the FBI released heavily redacted documents, amounting to 3 pages of emails… And…even with the heavy redactions…the content makes obvious…the initial public announcement was…a…LIE.
Not only did said ‘redacted documents’ show that the FBI lied IMMEDIATELY and Blatantly in this matter…but also…that…
(
I hope you GET THIS)
…the claims of Michaels Hastings’ email…were
precisely…correct.
(
see below for furtherance of this sub-topic)

Two months after the final report had been submitted, the Coroner’s Report was released to the public, and immediately, the public was inundated with article after article after expose after “in-depth coverage” highlighting (at least as often as not – inaccurately) Drug Use, and/or Drug-Inspired-Paranoia as the only sane, sensible and obvious conclusions to be derived from the abundance of evidences from the Coroner, Investigators and interviews of family, friends and acquaintances of Michael Hastings.

In early November, 2013, an interview
with Michael’s elder brother, Jonathan, was published, sparking one last barrage/round of let’s-beat-the-MH-piñata…and…the case, apparently, closed.

While I have taken (and continue to take) issue with much that was said by Jonathan and the ‘interviewer’ (PaleoRetiree), I will, rather, await any views or questions you might have on the same, before addressing it any further than reference.


 
II. Effects of the Coroner’s Report

Should anyone have expected anything from the Coroner’s Report?
Most people I communicated with on the matter (
and even, qualifiedly including myself) were expecting answers…
Most were expecting that the LAPD had performed to some minimal degree of professional competency…at least…
Instead – even most die-hard No-Foul-Play proponents were flabbergasted at the fact that their expectations (
of answers to justify their stance) were non-existent in the Report/s…

I was not expecting much…from the Coroner’s Report.
At least – not much that might affect my views on the case.
Initially, however, I jumped right in with the crowd…listening and tacitly accepting their arguments…albeit, sadly.
 – “Okay – He got back in-to dope… Had a history of abusing pharmaceuticals… Went off the deep-end once before… His ‘Family’ was in the midst of a ‘hostile’ intervention… Families don’t go to those lengths unless it has been building for a while… He was unreasonably paranoid… Thought he could leap tall buildings in a single bound…”
 – “Yeah – Okay – just…………skipped the light Fandango…”
 – “I told you so, from the start. Drugs (
especially – meth) will do that to you…”


But… … …after the initial shock subsided long enough to actually consider the “Report” and numerous “exposés”, I took another look… … …and was astonished at how easily I had been suckered into accepting… NOTHING …as evidence/proof…
The presence of marijuana & amphetamine in his system…?
This only tainted some of the previous assumptions that he was “off the wagon” and had been for years.
Then again – amphetamine could simply be (
& probably was) evidence of Adderall…and…the marijuana in his system was both ‘legal’ and…not evident in quantities that might have contributed to such maniacal behavior…
• The family’s apparently-urgent concerns…with regard to his alleged use of illicit substances, might weigh strongly on the treatment of other facts…IF…it was…indeed – The Family.
However…it was notThe Family…but, rather…one brother.
It was also not a brewing/growing suspicion…but a conclusion based on one phone conversation…less than two days before…the end (
though much has been said, since, in attempt to fortify the yarn that the suspicion had been building for months).
• Paranoia…?
Study his Twitter account.

Watch his TV/Video interviews in the last month…
• Superman Syndrome…?
The brother didn’t even mention this in his “in-depth” interview…but, the LAPD included it in their report. Where did this come from?

In my opinion, we were handed a paint by numbers sheet… …given months to study – then
…told to apply “Black” to sections we had (
might have) envisioned “rose” or “gleaming white”…
And…the strangest part…? It was hugely successful…

Little to no evidence to support the notion that drugs (
or- drug use) could have inspired the apparent hysteria of the final minute or two…
Yet – on the basis of innuendo, hyperbole and conjecture…the Press & Public accepted the brother’s snap-judgment…and…defense-of-self…as…Gospel Truth.

Consider briefly what happened once the Report was ‘released’…
It was immediately followed with an avalanche of Journalistic revelry…in ‘remembrances’, ‘exposés’ and ‘in-depth considerations’…and…what happened to the public outcry…?
… fade …to… whimper … … …before dying…altogether.

As is par for the course… Read two sources…get two stories…
And - here's one that severely…bugs me…

One of the "facts" we were fed (
through the Coroner’s Report and subsequent journalistic treatments), claimed that MH was last seen (by Jonathan) passed out sometime between 12:30 and 1:00 a.m. …
(
We have already covered the basics of the following – but – if you’ll stay with me for a moment, I hope to highlight a couple of pieces contrasted with the Coroner’s Report…)

In Gene Maddau's piece
, MH’s next door neighbor - Jordanna Thigpen - claimed that he was at her apartment door…after midnight…urgently asking to borrow her Volvo…because…he was afraid to drive his own car.
(
things that make you go Hmmmmmmmm)
She declined the request, saying her car was having mechanical problems.
She reportedly, also stated that "He was scared, and…wanted to leave town…"

What would be strange about that…?...if…we are to accept that – he was a total dope-head, and…out-of-his-mind delusional…?

Why would ANYONE care about the safety of their car… only a few hours before …taking that very car on a super-high-speed trip…into a…palm tree?



III. More on the Coroner’s Report

A quote from the report:

“…The cause of death was massive blunt force trauma consistent with a high speed front-end impact to the sole of the right foot and to the front of the torso. There was transmission of force superiorly through the right foot and leg, pelvis and vertebral column into the head. There was also severe impact to the anterior chest and upper abdomen with resulting rib fractures and anterior displacement of the heart and upper thoracic aorta (deceleration injury). Death was very rapid, within seconds. Loss of consciousness was likely instantaneous upon impact.
What we can derive from the security camera video…is a speeding car.
We do not know, for sure, that the brake lights were not on…until, near the end…when they brighten – and then…it can be deduced that they were “not ON” prior thereto.

Reading the coroner’s “cause of death” was kind of shocking, to me… It was as if “high speed front-end collision with the force of collision transferred to the body through the sole of the right foot” was a common-enough cause of death to have attained “catch phrase” (
jargon, lingo) status in the profession.
After thinking about it, though – it seems logical.
One might assume under normal circumstances, that the right foot (
or left – whichever the case may be) would be applied to the brake pedal…upon impact… Though, I’m sure there are occasions when it is applied to the accelerator.
In any case…our oddity begins with the fact that – “cause of death” is associated with the sole of the right foot.

The car had been traveling as if the driver had the accelerator pedal pressed to the floor for the last 250 +/- feet (
at least).

The car had been, at least slightly out of control during the first 100 (
or so) feet of those last 250 feet…and, had managed to keep from losing control entirely (would have been a common mistake to over-correct after losing control – at such speeds)…and, instead, found a way to “almost gracefully” climb onto the median about 195 feet into the video segment.

Very shortly after fully mounting the median, the rear-end began to rise…
‘Rose more in the next frame…
‘Rose more in the next frame – and…it appeared that…the brake lights were just beginning to brighten…
‘Rose more in the next frame – with the brake lights ‘now’ blaring…
‘Rose more in the next – with brake lights still brilliant…
Continued rising – with brake lights having dimmed significantly…and headlights extinguished
Continued moving forward in the “risen” state – brake lights having returned to running tail lights…and a glowing object was clearly visible…flying in a southeasterly direction…
In the following frame…all lights (
except a dim residual light, situated between where the tail lights had been in the previous frame) were extinguished…
Then - including the first frame that showed all lights extinguished – there are five frames of activity/change before the first light of explosion.

(*Note – I will addend the individual 30 [+/-] sequential frames of this video [being Video 2] upon request. Otherwise………I will not.)

So – All of that…to pose…the question…
• If the “death blow” was delivered through the sole of his right foot… And,
• If that signifies that his right foot was pressed “to the floor” on one or the other pedals…
…Which…pedal…was it?

If, as opined, the car hit the tree in the first frame that shows the rear-end rising…and
…his right foot was on the accelerator pedal at the time (
to the floor)
…what…happened?
1. Did he just then…realize…that the tree…wasn’t going to move…so…changed his mind – and…tried to…brake…?
2. Did the immediate “jolt” or “jerk” of impact…cause his foot to…slip over…to the brake pedal?
3. Did his right foot remain on the accelerator…and the force of collision move his left foot onto the brake pedal?

Or – do you have a better (
better guessed) hypothesis?

I would think that – for the coroner’s “cause of death” to be correct – we would need to have to find that
…his right foot was ‘planted’ firmly enough
…wherever it was
…to have appropriately accepted enough transfer of force
…to cause the traumatic damage ascribed thereto.

Unless there was an electrical-system malfunction…that activated the brake lights upon impact (
while they had not been ON at any time prior-to-impact)…I don't see how the force of impact could have been delivered to the right foot through the brake pedal.
Which is why I propose that the disruption to momentum…caused by initial impact…might have "drawn" his left foot against the heretofore-unused brake pedal.
That is, obviously, only a hypothetical…to allow for the right foot remaining in fixed position long enough to transfer the force of impact to the rest of the body.
Otherwise – I can find no logic in said conclusion.




IV. Needing a back story

The coroner’s report is broadcast…and the immediate wave of reason blaring through the media is…
“…plain as day – he fell off the wagon, got hooked on drugs again – developed paranoid delusions – bolted (
or – got exceptionally high and proceeded to drive) in a high-speed race through Hollywood – and died after losing control of his vehicle…into a palm tree. Nothing more to see here, folks – just move along and return to business as usual ---- Bad Things Happen.”

Oddly – however – if we simply look at the coroner’s report and toxicology results…and even accept the “official findings” thereof…we’re left with a much-less-rounded story.
We have:
1. High speed
2. Loss of control (
minor?) after Melrose
3. Correction toward the grassy knoll – errrr – median
4. Travel on median
5. Traumatic blunt force injuries resulting from high speed impact causing death
6. Traces of amphetamine and ‘marijuana’ in his blood work – but not in quantities that would suggest or surmise that said chemicals contributed to the death or the activities leading to death

Since nothing in the above, in any way speaks to the obvious question/s of “why?”…a back story was included…

Said “back story” was provided by the coroner, derived from interviews conducted by the LAPD (
et al).

This “back story” was not “incidentally” mentioned…but rather…on the very first page of the “report”, under “SYNOPSIS”, a good 2/5ths of said synopsis was devoted to mention that he was reported to have “been smoking marijuana the night before”, and “also believed as using ‘DMT’ (
Dimethyltryptamine – the “God” or “spirit” molecule)”…with further statements that “family had just arrived…attempting to get decedent to go to rehab.”

In this “back story” – we have an unnamed brother (
later confirmed to be Jonathan Hastings – the elder brother) of the deceased claiming to have been in L.A. to persuade MH into rehab…with another brother *scheduled* to arrive in L.A. later…the day of the accident.

Notes in the coroner’s report say that the brother who was already in L.A. believed that MH had started using drugs again (
after a believed-to-be 14-year ride on the wagon), and that, he further believed MH’s new drug of choice was ‘DMT’ …but would not be surprised if law enforcement found other drugs in Michael’s apartment…to include cocaine.

On another side of the world…we have a story of a next door neighbor…who shared a common pain with Michael Hastings – being the tragic loss of a romantic partner.
The friendship, apparently began shortly after Jordanna Thigpen’s boyfriend died in an automobile accident in April…and, developed to find Michael stopping by to chat after finishing with his days’ writing…(
he used an apartment, upstairs from hers, to ‘write’)
So as not to entirely skirt the connection - - - A few years earlier, while she was in Iraq, Michael’s then fiancé had been killed by an IED.

How involved the friendship with Miss Thigpen was is unknown to us…but…according to the Gene Maddau article (
in LA Weekly)…she perceived a heightened (or heightening) tension in his conversations after the news in May, 2013…of the NSA (the Feds) spying on journalists – and was hyper-concerned that they were particularly interested in him.

Of course, we know that she claimed that Michael came to her apartment after midnight (
which would be in the range of the same ‘after midnight’ that his brother reportedly saw him passed out), asking to use her Volvo…because he was afraid to drive his own car.


She expanded on this tale, saying that “he was scared and wanted to get out of town”.

Via email – another family member criticized the coroner’s report as “irresponsible”.

We could prematurely presume that they were simply upset at how much “back story” was included in the public document…
– But – rather – we find that…they further called the LAPD’s investigation of the case “sloppy”, and accused the LAPD of having a predisposition toward “looking for – or finding” drugs…in his system (
and elsewhere)…and when the toxicology reports did not support their LACK OF INTEGRITY…they attempted to compensate for said ineptitude/s with grand insertions of speculation (&/or innuendo) into the report.

Why would a family member…of the same family…that was convinced Michael Hastings was a victim of the his own substance abuse…(
so much so…that “the whole family believed he needed a last resort intervention”) care if the LAPD looked any further than…in his blood, and in his apartment…for drugs?



V. AFTER-WORDs…

1.
Many have pointed to the email sent by Michael Hastings to associates & friends within 24 hours of the fiery crash, as ‘evidence’ of paranoid hysteria…
This ‘explanation’ gives justification to –
Paranoia –:– Coincidence –:– Paranoid Delusions/Self-Fulfilling Prophecies, etc…
… But …
ONLY IF
…he was…
WRONG

Email:
Subject heading – “FBI investigation, re: NSA
Body Text - “Hey __ __ __ __ __ the Feds are interviewing my ‘close friends and associates.’ Perhaps if the authorities arrive at ‘BuzzFeed GQ’, er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues.
… “Also: I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the radat [
sic] for a bit.
(
and finally) ---- “All the best, and hope to see you all soon

In heavily redacted documents turned over only-after a lawsuit was filed in response to the FBI denying an FOIA request…it was learned that,

indeed,
the very reason…that Michael Hastings noted…in the email
(
being – ‘questionable news-gathering practices’)
…was the focus of
the redacted Governmental emails revealed.
There is nothing in Michael’s email (without some extraneous context) that betrays anything other than ‘normal & professional’.
So, next, one should question – Where, When & How…was Michael Hastings…tipped…to this information?

Knowing that…
(i) this, and other concerns, were at least a part of the conversation that convinced Michael’s brother that he’d tripped into a manic episode…and that,
(ii) it was on the basis of Michael’s brother’s assessment…that LAPD did not consider the fiery crash worth any further investigation than…cleaning up some of the debris (
at least, not until the toxicology report returned with bucketloads of questions for their theory/stance)
…we can logically conclude that the bulk of the weight formerly ascribed to the brother’s assessment, is in serious doubt.

And – without the weight of the “Manic-Episode–Over-the-Edge” argument/justification/assessment/testimony, we are back to “why was he/the-car driving at those speeds, where it was driving at those speeds, and when it was driving at those speeds?”

There was a report from a private investigator in upstate New York (
Doug Hagmann) stating that he was convinced…it was murder…
One bit of information Hagmann offered, that I’ve not seen circulated much, is that “…at least two agents, reportedly representing the FBI, contacted an associate of Michael Hastings for information related to his current and recent activities sometime between June 3 and June 7, 2013.”

If Mr. Hagmann’s statement is true/correct –?–?– while this does not prove that the FBI lied, when stating that “…Mr. Hastings was not under investigation…”, it does give more credence to his apparent “fears”…and thus sub-
freakin’-tracts from the assessment that his “fears” and demeanor were…paranoia–(or – drug-inspired-paranoia)–laced delusions…alone.

2.
L.A.P.D. told Michael Krikorian that Michael Hastings was actually going somewhere, that morning…and, said ‘somewhere’ was – Las Vegas.
If this is, indeed, true… I wonder why he didn’t have his laptop in the car…?

We found, later, that his wife, when going through the laptop, found a book that he’d been writing, chronicling his journey as a journalist (
which has since been published) on said laptop.
We know (
the odds are 99% in favor of the assumption) that the laptop could not have survived the crash & fire…or, being thrown from the vehicle as a result of the crash.
So – it seems likely that the laptop was not in the car, when he crashed.
Realizing he might have taken some other device (
such as an iPad)…we are still left to wonder, since…the LAPD made no mention of such a device recovered/retrieved from the wreckage or debris field.

Something about these two facts does not mesh, neatly… …or, some adjustments are needed to help them fit together.

Michael Krikorian’s final update on this tragedy, dated October 7, 2013, reported that “Det. Connie White of LAPD’s West Bureau Traffic” (
though the ‘Official Report’ had been released for public consumption more than a month earlier) said “…I haven’t finished with Hastings’ final report…” …and followed that with… “…No one is going to have access to that anyway…
Krikorian, thrown by her wrench, said the first thing that went through his mind was “…You’re wrong. I’m going to see that report…” …
I’ve seen no updates to this issue in any of his writings.
I’m guessing that – (1) with the passage of time, (2) the fact that Krikorian had personally concluded that Hastings was simply a victim of his own vices/demons, and (3) his (
Krikorian’s) vested interest in reporting in a high crime area of LA – We are not likely to get a glimpse of said report…along with everyone else that was included in “No one”.

3.
It is worth noting that – while two vehicles (
a Jeep & a Taxi) sitting at the Santa Monica red light were identified, either in interviews &/or video evidence… …a third (white sedan) vehicle passed through the light shortly after the identified two…
So – while the ‘third vehicle’ obviously did not chase the Mercedes through the red light…nor did it ‘buzz’ the two vehicles sitting at said light… – I find it odd that…neither the driver, nor any information concerning the same has made it into the public purview.
There is obviously a possibility that said driver turned off/from North Highland’ before Melrose’…but – the odds are very strong that said driver was passed by the same speeding Mercedes (
that shook the Jeep like a passing freight train)…and SAW the same fireball/explosion that the Jeep & Taxi drivers both witnessed at the next light – and – with all the publicity that ensued…and being a (probable) witness to the same… … …
… … …You tell me… Is that ‘odd’ or not…?





VI. Adjusted/Updated TimeLine ---

The following is an attempt to give some context leading up to the fateful crash, and a tidbit thereafter.

February (?), 2013 – Michael Hastings moved cross-country, from the East Coast to Hollywood, California, in a professional capacity with BuzzFeed – his new employer.
Apparently, sometime after arriving in L.A., MH acquired a prescription for marijuana to treat his diagnosed PTSD (
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

April sometime, 2013 – became acquainted with neighbor – Jordanna Thigpen…at the behest of the landlord of their apartments…because of the sudden (
recent) tragic loss of her boyfriend – and the common experience MH had suffered, when his fiancée was killed in a car-bomb attack in Iraq.

April 18-19 (
or so), 2013 – MH was the guest of a friend that had friends who secured a weekend getaway…to enjoy a music festival in/at Cochella, California… MH reportedly impressed said “friends of his friend” poorly…by partying constantly (“smoking marijuana and popping ‘molly/MDMA’”), in addition to some other less-than-considerate mannerisms and behavior/s.

May sometime, 2013 – after news broke of the NSA spying programs directed at (investigative) journalists…according to ‘neighbor Thigpen’, MH grew highly agitated and suspicious…with said suspicions bordering on (
in appearance, anyway) paranoia.

May 20, 2013 – in response to news of NSA spying on journalists…as a guest on The Young Turks …Michael boldly called for “(journalistic) war on the Obama Administration”…

~2 weeks prior to June 18th – MH spoke with his brother, Jonathan, by phone…and…according to Jonathan –nothing in the conversation betrayed MH’s apparent downward spiral.

The weekend of June 9th, he and his wife (Elise Jordan) entertained their good friend, Ali Gharib (Remembering Michael Hastings), on the patio of his L.A. apartment.

Much/Most of June 12th was spent with Jeremy Scahill, and later that evening, with friends & associates… … …none, of whom, noted anything out of the ordinary in his behavior or conversation.

It is worth noting that MH was an active Twitter Tweeter and ReTweeter, and that, from mid-May (when news broke of the NSA, et al, spying on –or targeting– investigative journalists) through the evening of June 12th, he only missed one three-day stretch, and one single-day stretch of activity on said Twitter.
But, as of midnight-or-so, June 12th, there are no further Tweets or ReTweets from his account. It is worth further noting that through this entire month+ frenzy of Twittering…–NOTHING–…Not one Tweet or word would/could/might have alerted anyone that MH was going off the deep end.

Sometime in the last week of his life, MH had called a friend & fellow writer – Dave Cullen, telling that he was close to ‘a deal’ on writing a book about “Hollywood”.

Saturday, June 15th, MH called one of his writing partners – Matt Farwell…with a ‘warning’ that Matt might be interviewed by the FBI. Farwell was terribly unsettled at the ‘news’, and pressed for more information…but MH would not discuss anything more specific over the phone…and Farwell arranged for MH to meet with a female friend for lunch, the following Thursday – with the intent being that MH could disclose his concerns with said female friend, who would, upon returning back East (
where Farwell lived), relay the details to Farwell.

According to Jonathan Hastings (
Michael’s older brother), MH called him ‘a few days’ before the accident.
Jonathan says that said conversation convinced him that MH had entered into a manic episode of similar caliber to one experienced 15 years earlier.
He stated that the earlier manic episode had been ‘drug related’, and he suspected that to be the case, this time, as well… and …Jonathan…immediately…booked a flight to L.A. for the next day, intent on convincing MH to return to Vermont, to dry out, or…go to rehab in L.A. .
Jonathan said that upon arrival in L.A., it was immediately apparent that MH was not going to ‘go’ willingly…so – he (
Jonathan) “started to make arrangements” to get the younger brother (Jeff) to fly out and help ‘possibly force’ Mike into checking himself into rehab.

There is some confusion in the public accounts…to include the Coroner’s Report…as to when Jonathan arrived in L.A.
Should be fairly simple to determine…but…No-One…including Jonathan Hastings, seemed to care to clarify said detail…
He first said that Michael called him a few days before the crash…
Then said that he immediately arranged to fly to L.A., the following day.
According to Michael Krikorian, there was a journalist/writer from one of the most notable publications in the world…that claimed to have had dinner with MH ‘the night before he died’.
Said writer was reportedly very shaken upon hearing of MH’s death…but would not discuss anything with Krikorian over the phone.
Krikorian said he would pass whatever he could, along to the readers of his blog, once he’d had an opportunity to meet privately with said individual (
Krikorian was out of the country at the time of said disclosure)…and – nothing of said meeting (if it ever happened) made its way into his blogs…or, if it did – it was not identified in such a way as to identify said writer…nor much of anything that might have been said.
If said Writer says they dined with Michael Hastings ‘the night before’ he died…and Jonathan made no mention that the writer was in/on the scene, that last day – I’m thinking that they dined Sunday evening, being June 16th… (
When news comes of something that happened after bedtime but before awaking the following morning…we often count the event to have been a part of the previous day… …) …

The point of venturing into this is…I believe that Jonathan Hastings arrived in L.A., at some time on June 17th…

At around 1 p.m. (
*) on June 17th, Michael sent an email to colleagues, while bcc’ing SSgt Biggs, regarding his conviction that (i) ‘the Feds’ were investigating his (and thus, by association, BuzzFeed’s…information gathering practices), (ii) he was “onto a big story”, (iii) he would “be going off the radat for a bit”, and (iv) “hope(d) to see” them all soon.
Within a couple/few hours, he went to a retail outlet with his brother…spent about 15 minutes inside…purchased 2 t-shirts…and impressed the shop’s co-owner as “in high spirits”.

MH had just finished a screenplay treatment based on a Rolling Stone piece he'd done, called "The Spy Who Cracked Up in the Cold," and called his co-writer, Justin Kremer, at about 8 P.M., saying that he’d "heard from his agent and was ready to go, and…was excited about portraying that world as he'd seen it onscreen".


Sometime later, he purportedly (
according, apparently, to Jonathan) smoked some marijuana…and…at some point thereafter, “passed out”.
The brother (
again, reportedly) placed the time of his “passing out” at ‘between 12:30 and 1:00 a.m.’…
After Jonathan was convinced that Michael had “passed out”…he left the apartment…and went to a neighboring apartment, where he was staying (
sleeping).

At, or about, the same time (
12:30 a.m.)) that the brother reported Michael to have passed out…Jordanna Thigpen reported that Michael came to her apartment with an exceptional request…being – to borrow her car…as –(according to said testimony)– he was concerned that his car had been tampered with…and he did not feel safe driving it--- and ---(she furthered)---he was scared, and wanted to leave town.
She told him that her car (
Volvo) was having mechanical problems…and thus, declined his request.

3 (
+/-) hours later, a LoudLabs dash-cam situated in a gas station parking lot, facing east, on the southwest corner of North Highland Avenue and Santa Monica Blvd, caught Michael Hastings’ Mercedes speeding through the red light…heading southbound on North Highland Avenue.
The camera operator (
Scott Lane) was not paying attention at the time…and did not notice the incident…and…sat, in said parking lot, for a short few minutes more…before deciding to ‘pack-it-in for the night’.

Probably, less than a minute after the Mercedes was unknowingly caught on the LoudLabs recording, it entered the field of view of the security camera situated in the entry-way of the Pizzeria Mozza located on the corner of Melrose’ and North Highland Avenue.
In said security camera recording:

It is obvious (deducible) that the vehicle has lost control (to some degree) prior to bursting into view…
Once in view…the vehicle was still slightly “out of control”.
The first view shows the vehicle straddling the center-line between the two southbound lanes.
The second screen shot shows the vehicle having progressed no further…but with its headlights covering more ground ahead…and having adjusted slightly toward the median (
southeasterly)…
I will not go through the entire sequence of screen-shots to the fatal tree…except to make the following observation/s…
• If suicide were his intent…he could simply have done nothing OR over-corrected after Melrose’…and certainly accomplished the objective.
• If he was “trying to survive” – and had brakes – he could simply have…used them

A year later, Michael Krikorian was told (
by LAPD) that…he actually had a destination that morning – being – Las Vegas.
How much confidence we can place in said information…is up for debate.
Different lenses need to be applied…if he was going some-where…rather than…running from some-thing/one
And, an even different lens is required if…he was going somewhere…to get away from (escape) something/one…

*)(*/|\*)(*

Thanks for reading. Your insights &/or questions are welcome.
Minstrel


"Good judgment comes from experience...
Experience...? Well, that comes from poor judgment."
~ Dean Martin ~




Reply
#2
have you considered the possibility that his right foot was not on the brake, and that forward momentum force caused the brake pedal to continue moving forward while the vehicle itself came to a sudden stop, thus turning on the brake lights, upon impact? I would certainly think that a momentum force sufficient to extract and launch and engine and transmission from a vehicle would surely be enough to push a brake pedal forward at impact.

Also, note that the switch to activate the brake lights is on the shaft of the brake pedal, so the brake pedal can be depressed, turning the lights on, while at the same time no braking force is applied, for example in the case of a severed, broken, or disconnected brake line not activating the actual brake calipers.

There are also methods whereby a car can be accelerated without actually activating the accelerator pedal.


Just some things to think about, things that may be interconnected.

.
“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




Reply
#3
I think his car was being controlled by a remote. Someone wanted him dead.  Why? 

Great research and a great thread @Minstrel.   minusculeclap
Reply
#4
(12-19-2020, 11:10 AM)Ninurta Wrote: have you considered the possibility that his right foot was not on the brake, and that forward momentum force caused the brake pedal to continue moving forward while the vehicle itself came to a sudden stop, thus turning on the brake lights, upon impact? I would certainly think that a momentum force sufficient to extract and launch and engine and transmission from a vehicle would surely be enough to push a brake pedal forward at impact.

Also, note that the switch to activate the brake lights is on the shaft of the brake pedal, so the brake pedal can be depressed, turning the lights on, while at the same time no braking force is applied, for example in the case of a severed, broken, or disconnected brake line not activating the actual brake calipers.

There are also methods whereby a car can be accelerated without actually activating the accelerator pedal.


Just some things to think about, things that may be interconnected.

.
I accept the explanations you've posed as other possibilities.

I think, though, that - were either of these to be genuinely considered, one would want to answer 'why' (neither of) these mechanisms did not activate the brake lights when the car hit the ground (after launching at the hump in the intersection of North Highlands Ave. & Melrose Ave.), went out of control, a correction maneuver was employed, and the wheel/s encountering the median curb.

As you say, though - it's worth consideration.
Thanks.


"Good judgment comes from experience...
Experience...? Well, that comes from poor judgment."
~ Dean Martin ~




Reply
#5
(12-19-2020, 08:50 PM)Mystic Wanderer Wrote: I think his car was being controlled by a remote. Someone wanted him dead.  Why? 

Great research and a great thread @Minstrel.   minusculeclap

Thanks MW!

He was purportedly working on a piece regarding John Brennan (who was the Director of the CIA) at the time.


"Good judgment comes from experience...
Experience...? Well, that comes from poor judgment."
~ Dean Martin ~




Reply
#6
(12-19-2020, 11:44 PM)Minstrel Wrote: I accept the explanations you've posed as other possibilities.

I think, though, that - were either of these to be genuinely considered, one would want to answer 'why' (neither of) these mechanisms did not activate the brake lights when the car hit the ground (after launching at the hump in the intersection of North Highlands Ave. & Melrose Ave.), went out of control, a correction maneuver was employed, and the wheel/s encountering the median curb.

As you say, though - it's worth consideration.
Thanks.

Because the car was still in forward motion until it met that sudden stop at the tree.. That is what would allow for the brake pedal to continue forward, effectively being "pushed" without a foot on it.

Bear in mind that I'm certain it was a killing, rather than an accident or a suicide - I just don't think the brake lights coming on at the end are a pivotal factor. I believe that was probably simple physics instead.

I'm guessing his right foot was braced on the floorboard for impact, because he had likely already determined that neither the brake nor the accelerator were under his immediate control. it doesn't take complicated installation of a remote control mechanism - all it takes is a hacksaw, a pair of wire cutters, and a few minutes time.

The line of inquiry should probably at this point revolve around the interlinked coverup to find answers of "who", "why", and "what was the extent of the involvement".

.
“The nature of psychological compulsion is such that those who act under constraint remain under the impression that they are acting on their own initiative. The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. That he is not free is apparent only to other people.”

-Aldous Huxley

-- Got mask? Just sayin'...




Reply
#7
(12-20-2020, 12:07 AM)Ninurta Wrote: Because the car was still in forward motion until it met that sudden stop at the tree.. That is what would allow for the brake pedal to continue forward, effectively being "pushed" without a foot on it.

Bear in mind that I'm certain it was a killing, rather than an accident or a suicide - I just don't think the brake lights coming on at the end are a pivotal factor. I believe that was probably simple physics instead.

I'm guessing his right foot was braced on the floorboard for impact, because he had likely already determined that neither the brake nor the accelerator were under his immediate control. it doesn't take complicated installation of a remote control mechanism - all it takes is a hacksaw, a pair of wire cutters, and a few minutes time.

The line of inquiry should probably at this point revolve around the interlinked coverup to find answers of "who", "why", and "what was the extent of the involvement".

.

The brake lights did not activate in the sequence your scenario poses - ie: (i) deceleration caused by the front end encountering the tree, (ii) resulting in movement of the brake pedal, and thus, (iii) activation of the brake lights - They activated at or about where/when the car hit the metal utility cage & pvc water pipe.
They were activated in various intensities through four frames, and then returned to running tail lights for one frame, and then, said running lights extinguished and remained so through five more frames of motion/change before the first light of explosion.

Upon impact (with the palm tree), the rear end continued forward and upward until the roof of the cab struck the tree, and the vehicle pivoted and came to rest at an angle 90 degrees (+/-) displaced from the direction it had been moving.

These security cameras generally capture imagery at a rate of 6 to 8 frames per second. I can attest that, if this is the case for this particular camera, those captures are not necessarily evenly spaced throughout the frames of interest. So determining the precise speed at which the Mercedes covered the final 75' (or so) from the metal cage to the tree can only be accurate within a range of possibilities.

What is apparent, though, is that the brake lights (while dimming) were still visible for one frame longer than the headlamps.


"Good judgment comes from experience...
Experience...? Well, that comes from poor judgment."
~ Dean Martin ~




Reply
#8
Wow, what an arduous and laborious challenge ...no setting in the city. Up alleys, down streets dangerous speeds. I would not want to be a cop or a gangster..  Hastings   vid seemed pretty accurate.  That's all danger cruising those neighborhoods. Cant' see anyone getting out from that fire and little left ? 
Reply
#9
(12-19-2020, 11:59 PM)Minstrel Wrote:
(12-19-2020, 08:50 PM)Mystic Wanderer Wrote: I think his car was being controlled by a remote. Someone wanted him dead.  Why? 

Great research and a great thread @Minstrel.   minusculeclap

Thanks MW!

He was purportedly working on a piece regarding John Brennan (who was the Director of the CIA) at the time.

@Minstrel, have you heard of a show called "ToreSays" ?  You would need an account on DLive. She comes on every morning between 11 and 12, usually Mon-Fri, unless she is traveling. She also has videos on You Tube, but she can't put anything "juicy" there.
You can also find her on Twitter:  ToRE @TweetWordz



Tore worked as a contractor for one of those agencies that "don't exist", and she worked directly with John Brennan. She has been releasing all kinds of information about the evils this man and Obummer did while she was there. She has to be careful in how she words things, but she gives enough of a hint to allow the listener to figure it out. 

You might could get in touch with her and see if she answers you. She might even have some information about this on one of her previous videos. Go under the video screen and click on "reruns" and see if anything comes up.
Reply
#10
(12-20-2020, 03:03 AM)PLOTUS Wrote: Wow, what an arduous and laborious challenge ...no setting in the city. Up alleys, down streets dangerous speeds. I would not want to be a cop or a gangster..  Hastings   vid seemed pretty accurate.  That's all danger cruising those neighborhoods. Cant' see anyone getting out from that fire and little left ? 

Remarkably, his wallet & its contents survived, just fine.

One aspect of the mystery that continues to catch in my cheek is: Two cars were sitting at the red light at Santa Monica Blvd & North Highlands Avenue. The drivers of both were interviewed by one source or another. But, just after the Mercedes flew through said intersection, a white sedan coasted up to the light, then followed the other two cars... The next traffic light was at North Highlands Avenue and Melrose Avenue... Only a few possible turn-offs lie between Santa Monica' and Melrose'... At the speed Hastings' vehicle was traveling the explosion would have occurred at about the time those first two cars were midway between Santa Monica' & Melrose' - so, that would leave only one street between for the white sedan to have turned off (and missed the conflagration). Yet in every report I have been able to find on this incident, there has been no mention of said white sedan or its driver.

This just seems odd, when considering the...odds.


"Good judgment comes from experience...
Experience...? Well, that comes from poor judgment."
~ Dean Martin ~




Reply
#11
(12-20-2020, 08:11 PM)Mystic Wanderer Wrote: @Minstrel, have you heard of a show called "ToreSays" ?  You would need an account on DLive. She comes on every morning between 11 and 12, usually Mon-Fri, unless she is traveling. She also has videos on You Tube, but she can't put anything "juicy" there.
You can also find her on Twitter:  ToRE @TweetWordz

Tore worked as a contractor for one of those agencies that "don't exist", and she worked directly with John Brennan. She has been releasing all kinds of information about the evils this man and Obummer did while she was there. She has to be careful in how she words things, but she gives enough of a hint to allow the listener to figure it out. 

You might could get in touch with her and see if she answers you. She might even have some information about this on one of her previous videos. Go under the video screen and click on "reruns" and see if anything comes up.
I missed this post, @Mystic Wanderer ... Sorry.
I am familiar with "ToreSays", and have considered contacting her - but, have refrained due to the more contemporary chaos she is (& we are) dealing with, lately.
May still contact her, as I think Millenial Millie is operating on some 'bad' information derived from an investigative journalist that preferred "sensational" over "real" reporting.
Thanks for the tip.


"Good judgment comes from experience...
Experience...? Well, that comes from poor judgment."
~ Dean Martin ~




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