by WorldTribune Staff, August 22, 2018
The death of an investigative journalist who was working on an article on former CIA Director John Brennan was likely a tragic accident, the journalist’s widow said.
Michael Hastings, a writer for BuzzFeed, died in a fiery car crash in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles on June 18. He was 33-years-old.
Conspiracy theories quickly arose after Hastings’ death.
Some of the conspiracy theories revolved around the time and place of the crash, 4:25 a.m. in a residential neighborhood, and that local and federal government agencies have been slow to turn over public records about the crash (hundreds of Freedom of Information Act requests have been filed by journalists across the country), the Daily Mail reported on Aug. 15.
Some even suggested that a device was installed in Hastings’ car that allowed someone outside of the vehicle to control it’s speed and direction.
Those who witnessed the June 18 crash described Hastings’ speeding Mercedes coup as creating sparks and flames before it fish-tailed into a palm tree and exploded. Hastings’ body was burned beyond recognition.
The journalist had “a proven history of bringing down powerful people (his Rolling Stone article about Gen. Stanley McChrystal effectively ended the general’s career) and a collection of secret sources within the highest levels of government,” the Daily Mail noted.
Elise Jordan, Hastings’ widow, said “the LAPD still has an active investigation…my gut here is that it was just a really tragic accident and I’m very unlucky and the world is very unlucky.”
On June 18, Hastings had sent an email to his editor at BuzzFeed, saying that “the Feds are interviewing my ‘close friends and associates.’ Perhaps if the authorities arrive ‘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.”
Hastings added: “Also: I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the radar for a bit.”
The big story was about Brennan, who has been described in secret emails from the president of CIA contractor Stratfor, Fred Burton – and released by Wikileaks – as being on a “witch hunt” against investigative journalists, the Daily Mail report said.
Jordan confirmed on Piers Morgan’s show on CNN earlier this month that the story Hastings was working on at the time of his death was about Brennan. She added that the story will appear in an upcoming issue of Rolling Stone magazine.
The Daily Mail noted that Hastings’ relatives were reportedly headed to Los Angeles to have an intervention for the journalist as he had relapsed and started using drugs.